Search teams find lost hiker

Man dehydrated but uninjured after being airlifted off Olds Mtn.

Posted: Tuesday, August 14, 2001

A signal fire helped lead searchers to a local hiker who ran out of trail Sunday in the mountains behind downtown Juneau.

Jack Cameron, 32, was located about 9:35 p.m. Monday at the 2,800-foot level east of Granite Creek, about 4.5 miles east of downtown, said Alaska State Trooper spokesman Greg Wilkinson.

Cameron was airlifted from the scene by a U.S. National Guard helicopter. The search and rescue was a joint operation of the troopers, Juneau Mountain Rescue, the National Guard and South East Alaska Dogs Organized for Ground Search.

Although he suffered from dehydration, Cameron was not injured, said SEADOGS handler Kirk Radach.

Marijo Toner, communications manager for Bartlett Regional Hospital, said they had no record of treating Cameron in the emergency room, so he apparently declined medical treatment.

Cameron could not be reached immediately for comment.

Cameron and two friends left Juneau for an outing Saturday. The trio spent the night on Mount Roberts and began hiking again on Sunday, Wilkinson said.

"About 1 p.m. (Sunday), Cameron told them his boots were wet and he was going to take a shortcut back to Juneau by way of Perseverance Trail. His partners made it back to town at 5:30 and found out he had not returned," Wilkinson said.

Cameron was reported missing at 1:15 p.m. Monday and a search was launched, coordinated by Trooper John Chiri.

Radach said he, Patty Crandall and her dog Brisbane, and Carrie Hulse and her dog Guinness were the SEADOGS crew.

"The National Guard flew us up on a ridge where he was last seen. Mountain Rescue took the upper ridge. Patty and I hiked down into a valley that looked like an inviting spot for someone looking for a shortcut," Radach said. "Carrie came up from below on Perseverance Trail. We got cliffed out, and while we were thinking about an alternate route, someone saw a signal fire on Olds Mountain."

Olds Mountain lies slightly behind and to the north of Mount Roberts.

The signal fire turned out to be set by Cameron. A helicopter picked him up and then picked up SEADOGS personnel, Radach said.

Cameron is employed by Little Switzerland, a jewelry store on South Franklin Street, said police Lt. Walt Boman.

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Ann Chandonnet can be reached at achandonnet@juneau-empire.com.



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