Hiker, stopped by snow in Resurrection Pass, rescued by troopers

Hiker, stopped by snow in Resurrection Pass, rescued by troopers

A Soldotna man was rescued from the Resurrection Pass Trail on Sunday after encountering too much snow to continue.

Alaska State Troopers used a helicopter to rescue Andrew Jefferson, 31, from the Resurrection Pass Trail about one mile north of the Devil’s Creek Trail intersection. Troopers in Seward took off around 11:05 a.m. after receiving a concerned call from Jefferson’s father, according to an online trooper dispatch.

Jefferson had taken off hiking the trail from Hope on Thursday, headed for Cooper Landing. However, about halfway there, he encountered too much snow to continue.

“Approximately one mile north of the Devil’s Creek Trail intersection, Andrew found himself in three feet of snow,” the dispatch said. “Andrew became wet, cold and too exhausted to hike any further.”

Jefferson used a Garmin inReach he brought with him to contact his father and sent his GPS coordinates. Troopers rescued Jefferson with the helicopter and took him to the Soldotna Airport. He declined medical treatment and was not injured, according to the dispatch.

The Chugach Mountains are hanging onto significant snowpack late this year, in part due to cool weather conditions throughout the spring. The National Weather Service’s snow measurement station in Turnagain Pass, at a relatively high elevation, measured 43 inches of snow on Sunday, while the station at the Alaska Railroad tunnel, east of the Seward Highway, measured 18 inches of snow Sunday.

According to a May 11 trail condition update from the Chugach National Forest, the weather and temperatures have slowed the growth of vegetation and ice melting, with frost still 2 inches to 4 inches deep in the ground throughout much of the Seward Ranger District.

Reach Elizabeth Earl at eearl@peninsulaclarion.com.

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