Before I even get started... this is an untouched photo obviously. But with the people so small do you think I will still be required to have a model release for this photo or should I just photoshop them out? There's 4 hikers on the bottom right and one up top.
No. The hikers appear far away & not recognizable.
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I see six hikers, 5 at the bottom and one at the top! No, no need for a model release. They are quite unrecognizable and can be easily photoshopped if needed. I fear, however, that you get a refusal because of technical issues, if the picture on your side is not more detailed.
The structure in your picture is not clear and detailed (here seen with 200%).