Alaska RCC Pavehawk Plucks Nine from Valdez Mountain

Chopper from RCC. Image-ANG
Chopper from RCC. Image-ANG

At 7 pm on Wednesday, a 911 call was received by the Valdez Fire Department reporting that five cannery employees from that community had hiked up the mountain behind the Valdez High School and had become unable to advance or retreat from their position.

The party reported that they had crossed over the Mineral Creek on the north side of the mountain and had strayed into a very rugged area about 1,500 feet up the mountain.

The Valdez Fire Department dispatched a Search and Rescue team to attempt to reach the five trapped hikers, but were ultimately frustrated in their attempts because of the rugged terrain.

A R-44 chopper was sent up the mountain with survival gear and that gear was lowered to the ground for the party, and the hikers hunkered down for an overnight stay.

On Thursday, a Pavehawk was dispatched from the 11th Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and the helicopter responded to the scene where they hoisted the five hikers as well as the four SAR members that were attempting to reach the hikers.

Once retrieved, the hikers and their would be rescuers were set down at the Valdez Airport.

All five hikers reported no injuries after their two-day stay on the mountain.