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Two Utah men stranded on Denali for 6th day

Photo from the men's trip four years ago

SALT LAKE CITY — Two Utah men are still waiting to be rescued on the highest peak in North America after one of them fell off a 20-foot cliff, fracturing all of the ribs on his left side.

Daniel Cooper and Ephraim Roberts are currently stranded at 13,000 feet on Denali in Alaska, awaiting good enough weather for a rescue helicopter to come and airlift them off the mountain.

Roberts slipped on Wednesday, on the pair’s second attempt to summit Denali. Their first attempt at the summit was four years ago.

“He’s very, very adventurous but they had no plan ever that this would happen,” Martha Cooper, the mother of Daniel Cooper told KSL.

“It’s been days. They’ve been isolated up there for five days now.”

After the fall, Cooper was able to climb down to Roberts and help get him stabilized and set up camp and radio for help.

Cooper’s brother Joel said the two are tough guys.

“My brother would not have sent out an S.O.S. if it wasn’t very serious,” he said.

Park Rangers were able to meet up with the climbers on Saturday, but it will take a helicopter to get them off the mountain as soon as the weather cooperates, something that hasn’t happened yet.

“They need 20 feet of visibility and low wind,” Joel Cooper said, “and the weather is not looking good.”

Cooper’s mother said that she spoke with Daniel on Friday. Despite the high winds and bad weather, she’s staying positive and thinks both men will be fine.

“When we finally made contact again and could hear what was going on, I thought, okay we can live through this. They’re going to live through it. We’re going to live through it,” she said.