Glacier National Park
Overdue Hiker Found By Rangers
The park was contacted by the wife of an overdue hiker on Wednesday morning. Richard Layne, 59, was issued his backcountry permit on May 10th and according to his permit would be hiking in remote sections of Glacier's North Fork and exiting on May 20th. Layne and his wife had agreed that she was to contact the park if he was not back by May 25th. Layne's ambitious itinerary began at the Polebridge Ranger Station and headed to Bowman Lake, then ran from Bowman Lake to Brown's Pass, Hole-in-the-Wall, over Boulder Pass, past Kintla Lake and out the Inside North Fork Road to Big Prairie. Most of these areas are in still in winter condition with extreme hazards. Due to an impending change in weather expected on Thursday, rangers contracted Minute Man Aviation to fly Layne's route. From the helicopter, rangers spotted tracks in the snow going over Boulder Pass that were consistent with human travel. In the afternoon Layne was spotted near Upper Kintla Lake waving his red jacket at the helicopter. Rangers retrieved him and brought him out of the backcountry, uninjured but very tired. Layne has taken many winter snowshoeing trips in Glacier and carries a very heavy pack, up to 100 pounds. Although he has taken many winter trips, his permits are extremely ambitious, long in duration and are not recommended by the Park Service. "This is not the first time that Layne has been reported overdue," said IC Gary Moses. "We are very glad for the successful resolution of the search and that Mr. Layne was uninjured. While he nearly completed his intended trip, the number of days he was overdue, the route itself through extensive avalanche terrain, the approaching weather front, and his history prompted our immediate response upon notification from his wife."