Hikers did the right thing in ridge mishap

Posted: Monday, September 20, 2010

According to Juneau Mountain Rescue director Karl Bausler two hikers rescued last week off of the Juneau Ridge Trail did all the right things.

"They stayed put when they realized they were in danger," Bausler said. "And they had packed plenty of food, water, two flashlights, and a charged cell phone even though it was just going to be a small day hike."

The JMR received a phone call about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday that Ian Roeber of Colorado and Andrea Logue of Arizona had hiked up Mount Juneau, continued along the ridge and had gotten "cliffed-out" above Granite Creek, according to Bausler.

Roeber and Logue become lost on their descent and could not proceed further. They also mentioned they had seen a bear and cubs on the trail according to a press release from the Alaska State Troopers.

"The sunshine in Southeast is getting dangerous," Bausler said. "These two hikers got in a tough spot but did the right thing."

According to Bausler the rescue scenario started when Cory Crossett heard someone yelling for help as he ran the Granite Creek Trail. At a point near Granite Creek Falls and the flats, Crossett called the Juneau Police Department at about 8 p.m., who in turn informed the state troopers. The troopers notified JMR who assembled a team.

According to Bausler, the rescue team gathered and left the parking lot at the end of Perseverance Trail about 9 p.m. with a team of four, with a team of six ready for possible morning duty. With the information from Crossett they knew not to go up Mount Juneau but continued to Granite Creek Trail.

"It was completely dark," Bausler said. "We had to use our head lamps."

JMR had phone contact with Roeber and Logue and told them to save their flashlight batteries by only turning them on when they heard the JMR rescue whistles.

At about 11:30 p.m. Roeber and Logue turned their lights on. JMR sent responders Gabe Kelley, Cory Hanson, and Gabe Hayden farther up the Granite Creek Trail to the ridge and they worked back towards the hikers. The team pushed through the rock scree and small trees and then scrambled along the ridge, all in the dark.

Bausler held a strobe light and stayed directly underneath Roeber and Logue's flashlights with a trooper, guiding the responders to a location above the stranded hikers and moving them into correct position.

When the responders were on target, Hanson was tethered down to Roeber and Logue and they were roped back up to the ridge.

JMR reached the parking lot again about 6:30 a.m. Thursday.

"It was definitely an all-nighter," Bausler said. "The sunshine is getting dangerous. Certainly a lot of thanks goes to the Alaska State Troopers, the other members of the team in support, and the Good Samaritans involved.

"This is the time of year, especially with the weather, that people get in trouble. Either they don't realize that the daylight is quickly fading or they don't pack appropriate clothing, gear, and food. This time the hikers did every thing correct, except they miscalculated their path off the ridge. A lot of people won't pack this much for a day trip ... they did the smart thing."

• Contact Klas Stolpe at 523-2263 or at klas.stolpe@juneauempire.com.

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