Blue skies illuminate the Mendenhall Glacier on Friday, June 27, 2014 . There have been at least six rescues in Juneau’s Mendenhall Glacier recreation area this year, including the helicopter evacuation of an injured woman on June 25. (AP Photo/The Juneau Empire, Marlena Sloss)
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — There have been at least six rescues in Juneau’s Mendenhall Glacier recreation area this year, including the helicopter evacuation of an injured woman last week.
The woman, who was part of a university student group doing studies on the ice, lost her footing and twisted her ankle Wednesday, fire marshal Dan Jager with Capital City Fire Rescue said.
“She and another person went away from the rest of the group on a slight slope. When they turned around to come back, she had slipped and slid down the ice,” Jager told the Juneau Empire (http://bit.ly/1pQ9Qjb ) in an email. “Her crampon caught a rock or piece of ice, and that impact is what caused the ankle injury.”
So far this season, Capital City Fire Rescue has responded to at least five other rescues in the recreational area, which is popular for kayaking, hiking and exploring on the glacier. Three of the rescues occurred within 24 hours in early June.
On June 6, a water-rescue call on the Mendenhall River was followed by a call about a woman who injured her leg while belaying down the glacier as part of a guided tour. Also that day, a kayaker on Mendenhall Lake overturned and suffered hypothermia while awaiting rescue.
Capital City Fire Rescue also responded to injured hikers on the nearby West Glacier trail on May 24 and June 2. Juneau Mountain Rescue found a hiker who got lost on that trail in early May.
The U.S. Forest Service, on its website for the trail, estimates 10-12 hikers a year are rescued from the West Glacier trail system, with 75 percent of those injured.