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Hiker rescued by Alaska Air National Guard after experiencing a heat-related injury on the Crow Pass Trail

A shot of Crow Pass in Chugach State Park. (File photo)
A shot of Crow Pass in Chugach State Park. (File photo)(KTUU)
Published: Aug. 6, 2021 at 7:49 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A hiker had to be hoisted by the Alaska Air National Guard after experiencing a heat-related injury on the Crow Pass Trail near Girdwood.

According to the Alaska Air National Guard, an Alaska State Trooper Search and Rescue coordinator contacted the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center on Tuesday around 8:30 p.m. after receiving a satellite phone call from a hiking party.

“The hiking party was in the first day of a two-day traverse of the 21 mile Crow Pass Trail,” Maj. Chelsea Aspelund with the Alaska Air National Guard wrote in an email. “They were each carrying overnight packs with safety gear. Within the group, they had an Emergency Locator Beacon and a Satellite Phone. They were very prepared.”

Alaska Air National Guard says there were eight people in the party and that all of the hikers had experience hiking in Alaska.

According to Capt. Brent Kramer, AK RCC Senior Search and Rescue Controller, “The AST SAR coordinator had already coordinated for a civilian life flight to rescue the hiker but there was concern of difficult terrain, so he notified us to be on standby.”

Close to two hours after the satellite phone call, AST reached back out to the AK RCC to request a hoist-capable aircraft due to the difficult terrain stopping the life flight from landing near the hikers.

“The AK RCC coordinated with the 176th Wing to dispatch a 210th Rescue Squadron HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter with a 212th Rescue Squadron Guardian Angel team of pararescuemen on board,” the Alaska Air National Guard wrote in a press release.

The rescue crew was able to make it to the hiking party and hoist the injured hiker out of the area and to an Anchorage area hospital.

According to the Alaska Air National Guard, the party was about 10 miles into the hike coming from the trailhead in Girdwood headed towards Eagle River.

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