Letter: Juneau is fortunate to have rescuers

I am writing to express my sincere gratitude to the Alaska State Troopers, Juneau Mountain Rescue, Temsco Helicopters and some very good friends for rescuing me and my family’s dog, Wattson, from the side of Mount Roberts on Tuesday, Oct. 6.

What started off as a fun birthday hike along Gold Ridge and into Snowslide Gulch on a beautiful fall day turned into a more challenging adventure, as we found ourselves in terrain that was too steep and rugged to negotiate.

After spending Monday night bivouacked on a ledge in Snowslide Gulch, I woke up Tuesday morning and realized that Wattson and I were going to need help getting out of the situation I had put us in.

My girlfriend, Suzanne McGee, had already started hiking up the Mount Roberts Trail early Tuesday morning along with our friends Lisa Kirsch, Phil Moritz, Guy Thibodeaux and Kyle Hebert, when it was decided that because of the nature of my predicament, it would be wise to contact the Alaska State Troopers, who would in turn contact Juneau Mountain Rescue.

Kyle Hebert was the first person to contact Wattson and I, while at the same time four members of JMR (Matt Calahan, Emily Nauman, James Dooley, and Schuyler Metcalf) had helicoptered to the mountaintop above us. State Trooper Josh Bentz and JMR members Tim Arness, Jackie Ebert, Dee Huff and Jason Seifert had already set up a command post at the end of Basin Road.

Wattson and I were eventually pulled off of the ledge and guided to safer ground by the JMR team, and then flown back to the airport by Temsco Helicopters and pilot Eric Main. It was a birthday I will never forget, but also a day when I learned how extremely fortunate we are here in Juneau to have a volunteer organization like JMR as well as our own state troopers.

Bob Sauerteig and Wattson,