A teenage bushwalker and his police rescuer were winched to safety last night after spending almost two days stranded in the Stirling Ranges National Park.

Heavy rain and gusty winds threatened to hamper attempts to bring the men to safety and search teams were unable to reach them until last night.

Police Airwing rescued the men about 8pm and both were said to be in "good spirits".

Duty Insp. Steve Jones said the two men were taken to Albany Health Campus to be treated for minor exposure.

The police helicopter was on standby at Albany airport yesterday in the hope the weather would improve enough for them to rescue the men or at least drop them a package containing food, water, clothing and items for shelter, for what would be their second night in the bush.

Albany Police Sgt Nathan Parkey said yesterday that despite the best efforts of emergency services, the "atrocious" conditions had stopped them getting to the 18-year-old and the police officer who had been lowered in to help the teen after he sought help on Saturday afternoon.

The men were near Bluff Knoll and several hours hike from the main visitors' carpark, which search and rescue teams were using as their main base in several bids to reach the pair.

Police said one search team believed they got close enough to hear the teenager and the officer but the terrain made it impossible to reach them before they were forced to turn back because of the fading light.

SES volunteers gather before setting off for Bluff Knoll. Picture: Jordan Gerrans

The rescue effort was sparked on Saturday when the bushwalker became disoriented at a peak near Bluff Knoll and activated his emergency beacon about 3pm.

The RAC rescue helicopter flew to the scene but bad weather stopped it rescuing the Leederville man.

Police then flew to the scene and managed to lower an officer to the ground.

He reached the teenager but the buffeting winds made it too risky to winch the men to safety and they had to spend the night in the bush.

The senior constable was able to keep in mobile phone contact with his colleagues, telling them there was some rain but they were all right.

Teams of State Emergency Service volunteers and park rangers started hiking to the men early yesterday but they were forced to return before reaching them because of the terrain and bad weather.

It is understood some of the SES volunteers suffered a mild form of hypothermia after spending several hours hiking in the cold and wet conditions.

The scene ot the Bluff Knoll walk. Picture: Jordan Gerrans

The West Australian

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