Local man and children rescued from Crow Pass

Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - 23:00

An Eagle River man and his two sons were rescued from Crow Pass Trail in the early morning hours of April 13.

According to an Alaska State Troopers dispatch, Kathern Janes called Alaska State Troopers around 6:02 p.m. April 12 to report that her husband and two sons were overdue arriving at their arranged Girdwood pick-up point.

Nicholas Janes, 39, Austin Janes, 15, and John Janes, 11, had left Eagle River around 8:30 a.m. to hike the Crow Creek Mine Trail to Girdwood.

Janes reported that her husband and children weren’t prepared to stay overnight and weren’t dressed for winter alpine conditions.

According to Maj. Candis Olmstead, spokesperson for the Alaska National Guard, a LifeMed helicopter was launched to search for the hikers while the Alaska Air National Guard crew was on required rest period after tending to an earlier rescue mission.

LifeMed was unable to locate the hikers, Olmstead said.

When the Alaska Air National Guard rescue alert crews completed their required rest stint around 10 p.m., they launched an HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

The crew located a campfire about an hour later and landed approximately 200 yards away.

They found the uninjured yet cold hikers huddled near the campfire.

The hikers were a mile from Eagle Glacier, about 15 miles into the 26-mile trail that begins in Eagle River and spans to Girdwood.

According to Olmstead, the hikers left Eagle River dressed in jeans and tennis shoes; they weren’t wearing hats or gloves.

“Outdoor enthusiasts should travel with survival gear when they venture out, and they need to be prepared to spend the night, even if they don’t plan to,” Lieutenant Colonel John Morse, deputy director of the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center said.

He recommends that outdoor enthusiasts plan every trip, even day trips, and always travel with a personal locator beacon.

“Do your research, and know what to expect,” he said. “Our weather can be unpredictable, conditions change, injuries happen, and people get lost.”

The three hikers were transported to Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage for evaluation.

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