Update | 6:45 p.m.
A search dog named Brew helped locate missing hunter Kevin Michaud late Monday morning near Last Chance Mining Museum.
Southeast Alaska Dogs Organized for Ground Search, also known as SEADOGS, had been searching Mt. Roberts with Juneau Mountain Rescue and Alaska State Troopers overnight.
“We worked the Gastineau Channel side of Mt. Roberts from about midnight on until 5:30, 6 o’clock in the morning, I guess, until just before the sun came up,” says Bruce Bowler, leader of SEADOGS.
Michaud, 20, became separated from a friend while ptarmigan hunting Sunday afternoon. He called a family member around 8 p.m. and said he had slid off the trail and was trying to find his way back.
A small group of Michaud’s friends and family looked for him initially before calling Juneau Police who contacted the troopers around 11 p.m.
The U.S. Coast Guard Jayhawk helicopter joined the search Monday morning, flying over Mt. Roberts and Gold Ridge.
Troopers received a tip around 9:45 a.m. A mining museum employee reported encountering a disoriented young man in the area.
“They moved the entire search operation to the Perseverance Trail side of the mountain and within an hour, hour and a half or so, we had him,” Bowler says.
The ground team found Michaud just after 11 a.m.
“He was pretty spacey. He was cold, wet, hypothermic, wasn’t thinking very clearly and he was placed into an ambulance right after that,” Bowler says.
Bowler says Brew, like the other search dogs, is trained to find lost people primarily through air scent and other search and rescue techniques.
Update | 12:15 p.m.
Alaska State Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters says missing hunter Kevin Michaud, 20, has been found alive. More details forthcoming.
Troopers, Coast Guard search for ptarmigan hunter lost on Mt. Roberts
Alaska State Troopers and the U.S. Coast Guard are searching Mt. Roberts for missing Juneau resident Kevin Michaud.
Trooper Andrew Neason says the 20-year-old became separated from a friend while ptarmigan hunting yesterday afternoon.
Michaud called a family member around 8 p.m. last night and said he had slid off the trail and was trying to find his way back.
A small group of Michaud’s friends and family looked for him initially before calling Juneau Police who contacted the Troopers around 11 p.m.
Neason says Troopers, Juneau Mountain Rescue and SEADOGS conducted a ground search between midnight and 5 a.m. this morning.
“There’s three handlers and their dogs, and then five or six volunteers from JMR, and there were also some friends and family that were up on Mt. Roberts as well,” Neason says.
When the ground search found nothing, Troopers contacted the Coast Guard. An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter launched from Air Station Sitka around 7:30 this morning and is still searching.
The helicopter could be seen flying over Mt. Roberts and Gold Ridge this morning.
A Coast Guard spokesman says Michaud’s phone died last night.
Alaska has a lot going on right now.
Never miss the important parts with insightful (and entertaining) news from The Signal, the best weekly Alaska news email.
- Hundreds turned out for the annual Christmas gathering at the Governor's Mansion.
- But experts say the details of what the Dunleavy administration proposes will be important.
- The Alaska State Troopers plan — which includes transferring dispatchers in Ketchikan, Wasilla and Soldotna — was the subject of much concern at a recent assembly meeting in Ketchikan.
- According to a report by the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center, the hiker was alone Saturday when he was caught in an avalanche near the Blueberry Loop trail and fully buried before he was able to kick his legs free.