News and News
It is so interesting that on Monday the news was all over the papers-- Extreme Hiker Missing in Tongass was one headline--and that here in Haines we had no idea the hiker was in our backyard. Then, just as we are all talking about it and wondering and worrying-- the story leaves the state-wide papers and the web. At the same time, now it really is news. There is a serious rescue in the works and the weather is not co-operating. A 28 year-old Skagway man has been stuck without food on the Upper Meade Glacier going on a week. And it has not been a good week for a sleep out. There is snow and wind and fog and cold wet slush everywhere. (He told pilot Drake that he hadn't eaten in four days on Monday morning. But yesterday, according the Coast spokesman on KHNS, was not answering the satellite phone Drake dropped him. They hope he is saving the batteries.) And the Coast Guard (also according a story on KHNS radio) has had to turn back their rescue helicopter three times. Local heli-ski choppers have failed and pilot Drake's ski plane could only get within two miles. The weather remains stormy, and in a way, a little better in town this morning. Not as windy. But the guy is at 4300 feet on a glacier, and from the looks of things that part of our world is till mostly a white-out. There were a lot of planes flying this morning on the Chilkat side of the peninsula to and from Juneau, which is a good sign. KHNS reported that the Juneau Mountain Rescue squad was going to be dropped off this morning near the Meade and that if they could land within five miles of the hiker would walk in with gear and food. That could be a long walk on the unfamiliar terrain, and in heavy wet snow. It took me a lot longer to snow shoe to Lily Lake yesterday than it usually does. That's not news. But a stranded hiker that the best rescue crews in the world can't reach, is, isn't it?