The Juneau Mountain Rescue team helped a stranded man and his dog escape steep terrain on Mount Roberts Tuesday morning after he called Alaska State Troopers for help.
Juneau resident Robert Sauerteig, 53, left for a solo day hike Monday morning. It was while descending at night, using an unfamiliar shortcut with dense foliage, that he realized he needed to wait until sunlight returned to make it home.
“He realized he was in a tricky spot, called his family and said, ‘Hey, I’m here, I’ll try and get back later, don’t worry,’” said Alaska State Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters. “The next day, he realized he needed to call for help.”
Sauerteig made the call for help at 7:41 a.m. Tuesday after seeing the terrain was too steep to handle, according to an online dispatch from troopers. A Temsco helicopter arrived at approximately the 2,170 foot elevation, helping Sauerteig and his dog reach safer terrain to travel.
Sauerteig was not injured and declined further medical attention.
Peters said Sauerteig’s decision to hold off on calling for help is an acceptable choice for hikers who are secure in their level of experience. Traveling with materials to get through the night — extra layer of clothes, communication devices, food, fire starting materials — is a good idea for all travelers because there is always potential for things to go wrong, Peters said.
“Sometimes it’s just important to known when to call for help,” she said.
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