Canoe Capsized and Hiker Falls on Snowfield
Contact: Denise Germann, 406 888-5838
Contact: Jennifer Lutman, 406 888-7895
WEST GLACIER, MONT. - Glacier National Park Rangers responded to two serious incidents this past weekend involving an injured hiker and a capsized canoe.
On Friday, June 15, eight individuals were climbing Mount Sinopah near Two Medicine Lake on the east side of the park. At approximately 6 p.m. one of the hikers, a 21-year old female, fell on a snowfield and was unable to self arrest, or stop the fall. The individual slid on approximately 200 feet of snow and then slid through approximately 10 feet of cliff bands at the bottom of the snowfield. The hiker only had general day-hiking gear. Two of the individuals from the hiking group traveled approximately four miles to the Glacier Park Boat Company on Two Medicine Lake to report the incident. Park rangers responded and encountered the injured hiker and the rest of the hiking party at a trail junction below Mount Sinopah. Park rangers assessed the injuries and transported the injured hiker by boat to the Two Medicine Boat Dock where an ambulance was waiting. The hiker had minor injuries.
On Saturday afternoon, June 16, employees of the Glacier Park Boat Company reported a capsized canoe and two people in the water on Lake McDonald. The boat company employees rescued the individuals from the water and transported them to the Lake McDonald Lodge where rangers assessed their condition and transported the individuals to their vehicle. The rangers also retrieved the canoe and returned it to the individuals. The boaters were wearing life jackets.
Hikers and climbers visiting some of the higher elevations in the park should expect snow and ice, and be prepared for changing weather conditions. It is important to know the terrain you are about to hike or climb, and carry the appropriate equipment. When hiking may include snowfield travel, visitors should know how to travel in such challenging conditions, including knowing how to use crampons and an ice axe. It is also recommended to have extra clothing, appropriate maps, first-aid kit, water and food. Always communicate to someone your planned route of travel and your expected time of return.
Park visitors are also reminded to be prepared for cold, high and fast moving waters in the park during spring and early summer. Always wear a life jacket when boating, and use caution when crossing or stepping near bodies of water.
Did You Know?
Did you know that eight inches of snow fell during one night in Glacier's high country in August, 2005? The weather forced hundreds of backpackers out of the backcountry.