Spring on hold as winter weather returns to NC Mountains

LINVILLE, NC (WBTV) - It was a January-like day across the mountains in North Carolina Wednesday. Temperatures were in the 20s, with gusty winds and intermittent snowfall.

Main roads stayed clear, but there were some slick spots, and a few accidents reported in the area. two to three inches of snow fell by mid-morning.

The biggest issue, it appeared, involved some campers on Grandfather Mountain.

The three people from South Carolina hiked up the profile trail Tuesday afternoon, found a spot along the way, put up their tent and stayed the night.

When they awoke Wednesday morning they discovered the trail was covered with snow.

"We could not see the rocks or the trail itself,"said Jonathan Garland.

The three also did not have heavy socks or winter jackets. Garland said they did bring thermal blankets and huddled together for warmth.

They determined it was too risky to hike out on a trail they were unfamiliar with, given that it was covered with snow.

They called for help and by mid-morning, a crew with warm clothes came and showed them the way out.

"They were all ok and hiked out on their own accord," said park ranger Sue McBean.

She said it was a good lesson about what hikers and campers should do no matter what time of year it is.

"Watch the weather and be prepared."

Forecasters say cold weather may stick around in the mountains for a few days.

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