Alaska News

Anchorage man dies in fall from hand tram platform near Girdwood

Anchorage resident Jeffrey Hummel, 57, was killed in an accident Saturday at the hand tram on a popular Girdwood hiking trail, according to the Whittier Police Department.

Hummel was assisting hikers at the Winner Creek Trail hand tram, a basket cage that allows people to pull themselves across a narrow gorge above the rushing waters of Glacier Creek. It appears he lost his balance and fell off the platform, missing the safety netting and falling 50 feet, police wrote.

The Girdwood Fire Department and Whittier Police Department responded to the Winner Creek Trail at 3:40 p.m. Saturday. Along with other volunteers, they were able to get Hummel to the top of the trail.

“Due to the severity of the fall, Jeffery Hummel was pronounced dead at the scene,” police wrote.

“Our thoughts are with the family of the Winner Creek hand tram fatality today,” the Girdwood Fire Department posted on Facebook Saturday night. “Thank you to the many bystanders, Alyesksa Resort Mountain Patrol, off duty medical professionals, Lifemed, Whittier police and AFD dispatch that assisted with lifesaving measures.”

In August 2016, Bradford Broach, a 46-year-old Texas man vacationing in Alaska, went missing after setting out for a hike on the Winner Creek trail. He is still listed as missing by the Alaska State Troopers.

The hand tram was closed Sunday.