A dog owner is seen trying to get his or her dog, which is stranded on a cliff above the start of the Perseverance Trailhead. He or she reached the dog at about 2:35 p.m. Wednesday. The red circles show the dog owner, top right, and the dog, bottom left. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

A dog owner is seen trying to get his or her dog, which is stranded on a cliff above the start of the Perseverance Trailhead. He or she reached the dog at about 2:35 p.m. Wednesday. The red circles show the dog owner, top right, and the dog, bottom left. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Rescuers rappel dog stranded on cliff to safety

Rescuers unable to get dog down, dog spends night on cliff

UPDATE: The dog’s owner reached the dog at about 2:35 p.m. Wednesday. They are staying still for the moment, and it’s unclear whether they will travel back up or down off the cliff. They are located in a steep bowl above the Perseverance Trailhead. No one else is on scene, except the Empire photographer Michael Penn.

It should be noted that it’s presumed the rescuer is the dog’s owner, based on what authorities said previously. Whoever it is had to rappel down from above to get to the dog. It’s unclear whether he or she can climb back up with the dog.

A dog owner is seen trying to get his or her dog, which is stranded on a cliff. He or she reached the dog at about 2:35 p.m. Wednesday. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

A dog owner is seen trying to get his or her dog, which is stranded on a cliff. He or she reached the dog at about 2:35 p.m. Wednesday. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Here’s an updated picture by Penn now they are reunited.

Rescuers rappel dog stranded on cliff to safety

It’s 2:57 p.m. now, and a second rescuer has rappelled down. They haven’t moved the dog yet. Here’s a picture of the second rappeller.

Rescuers rappel dog stranded on cliff to safety

They are all blocked by a tree now, and we can’t see anything on scene.

It’s 3:13 p.m. now, and we can see that both humans and the dog are all together now. They are not moving yet.

Here’s a video showing how high up they are. It’s tough to see but they are located in the top center of the last shot.

It’s 3:38 p.m. now, and the dog is attached to the rope system, and is headed up the cliff! We received an estimate earlier that they were about 1,800 feet up.

Rescuers rappel dog stranded on cliff to safety

It’s 3:53 p.m. and Juneau Empire photographer Michael Penn is still on scene. He said that he ran into some hikers on the trail who previously were talking to the dog owner before the rescue attempt. The dog owner told the hikers that her name was Catalina and that she was from the Yukon. She told them that her dog’s name is Nootka and that Nootka is a St. Bernard husky mix. Don’t hold us to the name spellings yet.

It’s 4:21 p.m. now, and we have lost sight of the rescuers as they are now in the trees. This is probably the last update we will have for a bit, as it will take them another hour or two to get down from here. We will try to interview them at the trailhead later, so stay tuned for another story later on.

4:39 p.m.: Well, that didn’t take that long! Capital City Fire/Rescue official let the Empire know that “Dog and everyone are good and on the trail.” It’s a happy ending.

5 p.m.: We just received word that the dog owner was not the one who performed the rescue, although she did assist in the rescue. The two rescuers are being identified as locals Zachary Rhoades and Starr Parmley.

Starr Parmley, standing, and Zachary Rhoades are pictured with a dog they helped rescue from a cliff near Perseverance Trail on Wednesday. (Courtesy Photo | Zachary Rhoades)

Starr Parmley, standing, and Zachary Rhoades are pictured with a dog they helped rescue from a cliff near Perseverance Trail on Wednesday. (Courtesy Photo | Zachary Rhoades)

Original article below:

A dog spent Tuesday night stranded on a cliff near Perseverance Trail, Capital City Fire/Rescue Assistant Chief Chad Cameron said Wednesday.

The dog, whose owner from Haines Junction is in town for Folk Fest, ended up on the cliff after chasing after mountain goats, Cameron said. The owner and the dog were out for a hike on Perseverance Trail and spent a little time on the Mount Juneau Trail before the run-in with the goats.

The owner and friends tried for about five hours to get the dog to come down from the cliff, Cameron said, before CCFR got a call in the early evening. CCFR personnel arrived, evaluated the scene and concluded that they weren’t able to get the dog down.

The dog spent the night up there, Cameron said, and as of Wednesday morning CCFR was planning on resuming attempts to get the dog down.

“We haven’t given up yet,” Cameron said. “We are trying the least risky actions first.”

As of about noon Wednesday, the dog’s owner and a friend were planning on going on the Mount Juneau Trail above where the dog was and trying to call the dog up there, Cameron said. Cameron was on scene to help guide the owner and friend away from what he called “danger areas.”

Cameron said Alaska State Troopers got involved at one point, but still weren’t able to get the dog down. Troopers spokesperson Megan Peters said Troopers are not currently participating in the rescue efforts and have not deployed any resources to the effort.

“We are not able to launch resources to do a search and rescue for a pet,” Peters said in an email. “We told that to the complainant and they understand. We also advised the complainant to not attempt to rescue the animal on their own as they would be putting themselves in a dangerous situation.”

Dog-related incidents are extremely common on Juneau’s trails, Cameron said, but it’s a little more rare to have a dog stranded like this. Cameron said people don’t need to avoid the area, as the spot where the dog is won’t be disturbed by hikers on the trails.


• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at amccarthy@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @akmccarthy.


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