A tale of extreme hiking from a press release posted today on the Glacier Park web site . . .
Officials at Glacier National Park were contacted by the wife of an overdue hiker on Wednesday morning, May 25, 2011. Richard Layne, 59 years old and from Helena, was issued his backcountry permit on May 10 and according to his permit would be hiking in remote sections of Glacier’s North Fork and exiting on May 20. Layne and his wife had agreed that if he was not back by the 25th of May, she was to contact the park service.
Layne’s ambitious itinerary began at the Polebridge Ranger Station into Bowman Lake, from Bowman Lake to Brown’s Pass, through Hole-in-the-Wall and over Boulder Pass, exiting Kintla Lake and out the Inside North Fork Road to Big Prairie. Most of these areas are in winter conditions with extreme hazards.
Due to the 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 Layne and brought him out of the backcountry, uninjured but very tired.