Climber killed, skier rescued in separate incidents on Goat Mountain
An Anchorage man died and a Wasilla man was rescued in separate incidents Wednesday on Goat Mountain near Eklutna Lake.
At around 4:02 p.m., troopers received a report of an injured skier at around the 2,800 foot level of the peak near Eklutna Lake. At the request of the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center, the Alaska National Guard’s 176th Wing deployed the 210th Rescue Squadron’s HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter to the scene, along with a HC-130J Combat King II airplane from the 212th Rescue Squadron to provide command, control and refueling, according to a press release issued by the Guard. Aboard each were “Guardian Angel Airmen” from the 212th Rescue Squadron who specialized in rescue operations, the Guard said.
The helicopter crew located the skier, 34-year-old Russell Johanson of Wasilla, and hoisted him to safety. Johanson was taken to Mat-Su Regional Medical Center for what troopers described as a non-life threatening injury.
About two hours after the call came in about the injured skier, troopers were again contacted for a report of a fallen climber — also on Goat Mountain. Guard spokesman David Bedard said the helicopter crew turned around after dropping Johanson off at the hospital and headed back to the area, where pararescuemen located Daniel Dresher, 25. According to troopers, Dresher had fallen about 500 feet to his death. Dresher’s body was flown from the scene along with his climbing partner, troopers said.
According to Dresher’s Facebook page he worked as an emergency department technician at Providence Health and Services and was a backcountry ranger at Lake Clark National Park & Preserve.