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Lost teen hiker found cold, shoeless in Chugach State Park

Casey Grove

Mountaineer searchers found a lost teenage hiker early Tuesday after she spent a night without shelter in the Chugach Mountains near Anchorage.

The 16-year-old was part of a group of teenagers on the way to O’Malley Peak in Chugach State Park east of Anchorage on Monday, according to troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen. At some point during the hike, she separated from the group, Ipsen said.

The teenager was wearing only slip-on shoes, the troopers spokeswoman said.

“Definitely not hiking shoes,” Ipsen said. “She just decided that she wasn’t going to go on.”

The other hikers planned to meet her at a midway spot on their way back, but she was not there when they returned. She also was not waiting for them at the Glen Alps trail head, and a member of the group called for help, troopers said.

A trooper, an Anchorage police officer with a search dog and the hikers organized a quick search, but still could not find the missing teenager. The first search party called in the Alaska Search and Rescue Dogs and volunteer mountaineers with the Alaska Mountain Rescue Group, who found the girl about 6 a.m. Tuesday, troopers said.

“She was cold and tired and had lost her shoes during the night but was able to travel out with assistance,” the troopers statement says.

Ipsen said she did not know how the teenager lost her shoes. Ipsen did not release the girl’s name.




Reach Casey Grove at or 257-4589.