Capital City Fire/Rescue’s rope team and rescue boat were called out to rescue a hiker from West Glacier Trail Sunday afternoon. (Photo courtesy of CCFR)

Capital City Fire/Rescue’s rope team and rescue boat were called out to rescue a hiker from West Glacier Trail Sunday afternoon. (Photo courtesy of CCFR)

Capital City Fire/Rescue rescues hikers on West Glacier Trail

Capital City Fire/Rescue’s rope and water rescue team crews worked with Alaska State Troopers to assist stranded hikers in two separate incidents Sunday on the West Glacier Trail.

In the first incident, at about 2 p.m., CCFR was dispatched to a report of a stranded hiker on the trail near the ice caves, said Fire Chief Richard Etheridge.

Troopers in Juneau were contacted by the Juneau Police Department, who reported that Kenneth Weber, 50, of Juneau, was stuck on a rocky ledge off the trail. The troopers contacted CCFR, who responded with its rope team and rescue boat.

Capt. Mead made phone contact with Weber and determined he had slid down a scree slope to an area that he could not move up or down from; he was uninjured.

Mead assembled personnel and equipment and moved the crew across the lake in the rescue boat, Etheridge said. The rope team hiked up to Weber and helped him down the scree slope to the trail. Weber and a companion were transported by the rescue boat with the crew to the boat launch, and the two hikers declined treatment and transport.

Then CCFR was called out again to West Glacier Trail, this time at 10 p.m.

Sarah Skrine, 46, of Juneau, called 911 to report she was stuck on a cliff.

She was reported to have fallen with possible injuries, Etheridge said, adding that she reported hearing bears in the area and was in distress.

CCFR again responded with the rope team and rescue boat and proceeded to the glacier access point near the ice caves.

At the glacier the ground crew initiated a search, located Skrine, assessed for injuries, and escorted her to the rescue boat.

“The ground crew reported the route was fairly lengthy and somewhat tricky, complicated by night conditions,” Etheridge said.

Skrine was ambulatory and declined medical assessment and any treatment or transport, stating she would see her doctor the next day.

CCFR noted on its Facebook page that the West Glacier Trail is “poorly marked, confusing, and can pose technical challenges beyond a recreational hiker’s capabilities.” The fire department’s post advised hikers who want to see the glacier’s ice caves to go with a quality guiding service, and always be prepared for the unexpected.


• Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 523-2246 or liz.kellar@juneauempire.com.


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