Search Effort Underway for Missing Hiker
Contact: Denise Germann, 406-888-5838
WEST GLACIER, MT. - Early Monday morning, August 29, at approximately 2am, park dispatch received a call informing them that Glacier National Park seasonal employee Jacob "Jake" Rigby was overdue from a personal day hike in the park. Rigby's supervisor notified park rangers that he did not show for work at his scheduled time later that morning. Rigby is a member of the exotic plant team working at the park.
No one knew the location that Rigby was hiking, but after a search of the trailheads in the park, park rangers located his vehicle at the Fielding Trailhead in the southern end of the park, along Montana Highway 2.
Search efforts were launched Monday in several areas that were possible hiking routes. These efforts included several ground search teams and two helicopters. Yesterday's search did not uncover any clues. The probable search areas were narrowed as park rangers spoke to Rigby's friends and coworkers.
A park incident management team has been organized, staffed and is managing the incident. Intensive search efforts continue today as more than 50 people are dedicated to the incident. Ground crews, helicopters, a search dog team and some specially trained human trackers are involved. The Flathead National Forest and Flathead Valley Search and Rescue are assisting in the search effort.
Rigby is 27 years old and is an avid and skilled hiker, and familiar with the park. He has excellent scouting capabilities and enjoys hiking off trail. He is 6 feet tall with brown, short and curly hair. He is of medium build and suspected to be wearing a blue t-shirt, blue Patagonia hiking shorts, white/silver Mamut daypack, size 10 La Sportiva boots with Vibram soles, and possibly gators.
It is believed that he was hiking an extreme mountain traverse with challenging terrain in the Soldier Mountain, Sheep Mountain, Brave Dog Mountain, Mount Despair and Eagle Ribs Mountain areas in the southern end of the park. This is located north of Montana Highway 2 near the Snow Slip Inn and the Devil Creek Campground, but he may be anywhere in the vicinity. His vehicle was at the Fielding Trailhead, located east of the Snow Slip Inn at mile marker 192 along Montana Highway 2.
Anyone that may have been in the area, in the Ole Creek or Park Creek Drainages, on Sunday and may have seen Rigby is encouraged to contact park dispatch at 406-888-7800 or 406-888-5800.
Did You Know?
Lake McDonald is the largest lake in the park with a length of 10 miles and a depth of 472 feet. The glacier that carved the Lake McDonald valley is estimated to have been around 2,200 feet thick.