Hiker Who Suffered Fatal Climbing Accident Was From Great Falls
Contact: Wade Muehlhof, 406-888-7895
WEST GLACIER, MONT. - Glacier National Park officials are learning more about the loss of a park visitor Saturday, August 22, 2009. A 67-year-old male from Great Falls, MT had been hiking with four others and had climbed Iceberg Notch earlier in the day. Two of the party broke off, and the remaining three planned to use goat trails to climb down to Ptarmigan Tunnel, and then return to Many Glacier campground, where they were staying. The victim had climbed the Ahern Pass route before, and separated from the other two to take the route again. The other two, one of which was his 38 year-0ld-son, chose a different route. The man was down-climbing on Ahern Pass near Helen Lake east of the Continental Divide, when he fell some 300 feet around 2 p.m. Saturday.
A group of hikers, including a park employee, witnessed the fall. The employee made his way to the victim after sending the rest of the party to Granite Park Chalet to get help. While climbing to the victim, the employee spotted another park employee, and yelled to him for help. The two made their way to the victim and found he had suffered major injuries, and the fall had been fatal. The employee stayed with the victim while second employee hiked out. The employee encountered the other two people who had been hiking with the victim. After being informed there had been an accident, they made their way to the victim.
Saturday evening the victim, the other two hikers, and some park employees were transported from the scene of the accident by Minuteman Aviation of West Glacier.
Did You Know?
If current trends continue, some scientists predict that by the year 2030, Glacier National Park will not contain any glaciers and many of the park's smaller glaciers will melt even sooner.