SAR Volunteers Locate Two Stranded Hikers in Hatcher Pass

Hatcher Pass. Image-State of Alaska

Hatcher Pass. Image-State of Alaska

Volunteer Search and Rescue hiked up the Gold Mint Trail into Hatcher Pass and located two stranded men during the early morning hours on Saturday after Helo-3 as well as a Park Ranger attempted and failed to reach the two men due to weather conditions.

Troopers were notified of two men stranded in the pass due to heavy snowfall at 3:13 pm on Friday afternoon by a Park Ranger. Helo-3 was launched but was turned back by poor weather.A Park Ranger on a snowmachine also attempted to reach the men but was unable to do so because of the steep terrain and weather.

The men, identified as 66-year-old Wasilla resident Ralph Baldwin and 63-year-old David Stevenson of Anchorage, are experienced in the mountains and were prepared for winter weather conditions. They were able to build a snow shelter and huddled to stay warm and await rescue.

They waited at their position for over 14 hours before rescuers were able to reach them, set up a tent, provide them with dry clothes and feed them.

After being tended to, the men were able to sleep for approximately three hours until Helo-3 could get to the location. Helo-3 transported the two men to the parking lot at the Hatcher Pass Lodge where they were met by their families.

The rescuers declined transport, choosing to hike out under their own power.