• Mt Reynolds

    Glacier

    National Park Montana

Evening Update on Missing Hiker

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Date: August 30, 2011
Contact: Denise Germann, 406 888-5838

WEST GLACIER, MT. - High alpine search efforts continued for missing hiker Jacob "Jake" Rigby through Tuesday evening, with perhaps one lead on his potential route of travel. Park rangers believe there is a high probability that Rigby may have signed the summit register at Brave Dog Mountain. Search crews checked the register and found a signature that is believed to be by Rigby dated Sunday, August 28. After this discovery, search efforts were concentrated in this area, the route from Brave Dog Mountain toward Mount Despair. This route is located between the Ole Creek and Park Creek Drainages, in the southern end of the park.

This area is extremely steep and treacherous. It is an area that only the most highly skilled hikers and climbers attempt to access.

Search efforts will continue tomorrow, although park rangers are concerned with predicted weather changes and how that may impact the incident response. Plans are underway to begin with an early aerial search Wednesday morning, and ground search crews will continue after an early morning briefing. Search crews are preparing to stay overnight in the backcountry for the next two days as needed.

Posters with Rigby's photo and key information have been posted in the park and other locations.

The park will continue to provide updated media releases as new information is available.


History from previous media release-
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.
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 Mammut 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, August 28, and may have seen Rigby is encouraged to contact park dispatch at 406-888-7800 or 406-888-5800.

Did You Know?

Trees and mountains

In 1974, 93% of Glacier National Park was recommended as Wilderness. To this day, over 93% of Glacier’s backcountry is managed as Wilderness.