People Keep Falling While Climbing Around On Alaska's Hills – And Getting Killed Or Injured

Woman Falls On Hatcher Pass Trail, Has Head Injuries & Is Rescued  Blueberry pickers at a safer spot in Hatcher Pass. (Journal file phot...

Woman Falls On Hatcher Pass Trail, Has Head Injuries & Is Rescued 

Blueberry pickers at a safer spot in Hatcher Pass. (Journal file photo) 

The number of people who are going out into parks and recreational areas this summer  (and then falling off cliffs and either dying for having to be rescued) is continuing to grow.

This has happened at Denali. It's happened at Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. 

Hill and rock climbing can be very dangerous. Even a seemingly mellow, road-accessible trail at Hatcher Pass, north of Palmer, has now taken its toll, too. 

On Thursday, July 1st, a 53 year old Virginia woman fell, sustained possibly deadly injuries, and had to be rescued by the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center (RCC) after a fellow climber sent out an SOS beacon. The incident happened near  the Gold Mint Trail at Hatcher Pass. 

The Trooper Report follows:


Dispatch Text:
On 07/01/2021 at approximately 2044 hours, The Alaska State Troopers received a report of an S.O.S beacon from a Garmin device off the Gold Mint Trail Head in the Hatcher Pass area. The owner, Michael Fetro, age 37 out of Alaska, was able to communicate via text messages through his Garmin device that a member of his party, Sophia Balcomb, age 53 out of Virginia, had fallen and sustained a head injury. Sofia was unable to move due to possible spinal injury but was conscious and any bleeding was under control. The S.A.R. coordinator was contacted and RCC was requested for hoist assist due to there being no safe landing zone in the area. RCC responded and successfully rescued Sophia and transported her to Providence Hospital. Michael and the remaining members of his party were also brought to Providence via RCC.


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