Helicopter Camera Saves Another Lost Hiker in Montana
A Michigan hiker probably owes his life to a sophisticated camera that managed to locate his heat signature deep in the forest of Glacier National Park.
The helicopter-mounted camera was able to spot 19-year-old Matthew Read where he was hunkered down in the cold woods, allowing rescuers to airlift him to safety.
Read was spending his fourth night in the woods in freezing temperatures after his plans for a hike went awry on Friday.
Numerous agencies involved in the search
Glacier National Park authorities had started looking for Read on Sunday, after being told he was overdue from a hike on the Huckleberry Lookout Trail near Apgar. They found his vehicle at the trailhead, but couldn't locate him during a hasty search.
The search was expanded Monday, with additional support from the U.S. Border Patrol, Flathead County Sheriff's Office, and North Valley and Flathead Search and Rescue. Two Bear Air also assisted in the search, but was hampered by clouds and rain with low visibility.
Finally, at about 11 pm Monday night, Two Bear Air picked up a thermal heat reading, and a rescuer was dropped to Read's location, finding him "somewhat responsive". They were able to hoist him 175 back to the chopper and then fly him out of the park to a waiting ambulance.
He's reported to be in stable condition
Rangers say Read had reached the first saddle on the Lookout Trail when he hit a snowfield and then dropped into an unnamed drainage on the east side of Huckleberry Mountain. He encountered chest-deep snow, losing his phone, water bottle, and shoes. When he realized he couldn't climb back to the saddle, rangers say he started working his way down the drainage.
Huckleberry Lookout Trail reopened this morning. The park cautions everyone that many of the trails remain difficult and snow-covered
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