Foraker Search Focuses on Tracks


After analyzing photos taken yesterday, National Park Service rangers have confirmed footprints at about the 16,400-foot level on Mt. Foraker. They have redirected search efforts for missing climbers Karen McNeill and Sue Nott to focus on an area below the south summit of 17,400-foot Foraker. The weather is good for aerial searches today. 

Denali National Park issued the following press release at 10 a.m. Alaska time today: 

New Tracks Shift Focus of Search for Missing Climbers on Foraker 

The verification of new track sightings at the 16,400-foot elevation on Mt. Foraker was confirmed Monday evening when search personnel were able to closely analyze digital photographs that were taken from the NPS-contracted high-altitude Lama during yesterday’s search operations. 

This new discovery has shifted today’s search efforts for Karen McNeill and Sue Nott to focus on the area just below the south summit of Foraker. Two Chinook helicopters from Company B, 1st Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment based at Fort Wainwright are expected in Talkeetna by late morning, and will be utilized for today’s search effort. An Aerostar helicopter from ERA Helicopter Division is already on site and will be used initially to remove the team of observers from a camp near the base of Mt. Foraker. 

Flying conditions are good this morning, as it is mostly clear and winds are calm. A layer of overcast at 11,000 feet is not expected to seriously impede search activity. The forecast is for increasing clouds, with a chance of snow.
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