19-year-old hiker rescued from chest-deep snow in national park after going missing for 3 days

ByNadine El-Bawab ABCNews logo
Thursday, May 11, 2023
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MONTANA -- A missing hiker was rescued from chest-deep snow in Montana's Glacier National Park after going missing for three days, officials announced Tuesday.

Rescue personnel found 19-year-old Matthew Read at 11 p.m. on Monday, ABC News reported. Two Bear Air rescuers saw a thermal heat signature in heavily forested terrain and lowered a rescuer to the location.

Read was found "somewhat responsive" and was extracted by a 175-foot hoist, according to park officials. He was flown out of the park and transferred to an ambulance.

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Officials said he is in stable condition.

Read hiked the Huckleberry Lookout trail on Friday, reaching the first saddle, where he encountered a snowfield covering the trail, according to park officials.

Read then slipped into an unnamed drainage on the east side of Huckleberry Mountain, where he descended into chest-deep snow, losing his phone, water bottle and shoes. Read then realized he could not make it back up to the trail and started working down the drainage, according to park officials.

"Conditions on Huckleberry Trail at the upper reaches are winter-like with snow over the trail at higher altitudes," park officials said in a statement.

The search began after he was reported overdue to park officials on Sunday and expanded into Monday morning when about 30 people with the park rangers, U.S. Border Patrol and Flathead County Sheriff's Office and county search dogs looked for Read. His vehicle was located at the Huckleberry Lookout Trailhead on Sunday.

The Huckleberry Lookout trail reopened on Tuesday morning after it had been closed for the search.