Search for Eagle River hiker ongoing

Alaska State Troopers logo.

Alaska State Troopers logo.

A 74-year-old hiker who did not arrive at his planned destination was still missing Monday, according to a dispatch from the Alaska State Troopers. Gary Fisk, of Eagle River, left from the Girdwood end of the Crow Creek Pass Trail on Sept. 21 and had a goal of arriving at the Eagle River Nature Center on Thursday, according to the dispatch. Fisk had not arrived at the center as of Saturday.

Search efforts conducted over the weekend included Alaska State Troopers and military helicopters, ground searchers and people with the Alaska Mountain Rescue Group, Alaska Search and Rescue Dogs, Alaska Solstice Search Dogs, Nordic Ski Patrol, Chugach State Parks, the Eagle River Nature Center, and Rescue Coordination Center and 210th Air National Guard, according to the dispatch.

Weather and asset availability permitting, aerial searches will continue, the dispatch said.

Though described as an “experienced outdoorsman” who was prepared to hike for three days, the dispatch notes that weather conditions deteriorated after Fisk departed, including heavy snow and downed trees.

State Park Rangers searched the first three miles of the trail via ATV from the Eagle River side Friday, when low cloud cover impeded aerial searches, the dispatch said. A helicopter was able to search via air Saturday, while ground parties and a K9 team with the Alaska Mountain Rescue Group worked below.

The Crow Pass Trail follows a historic Iditarod supply route and runs 21 miles between Girdwood and Eagle River, according to a guide published by Chugach State Parks. That guide estimates that the trail takes about two or more days to complete and warns that crossing Eagle River can be dangerous.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

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