I've seen Alaska close up, and part of this story doesn't surprise me at all. Last month two geologists working for the state Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys were dropped off individually on a mountain to do some fieldwork. Minutes later, the sun vanished and a howling rainstorm took its place. Their helicopter couldn't return, and they spent the next two nights alone out there. Read the whole story of their experience.
That's what Alaska weather is like. What did surprise me about this story was that this was the first time it happened to those geologists in over 30 years of field experience.
This is why geology is a profession that rewards physically fit, well-trained smart people.