Valdez officials say Kurt Schenher, 16, was hiking on the glacier near the city with his younger brother when he fell through a snow bridge and into a crevasse.
“He went about 50 feet-plus and wedged in place,” said George Keeney, the city’s fire chief and emergency manager. “He was wearing sweats and (the force of it took) his clothes off him, and he was skin-against-ice for five hours.”
Schenher’s brother went to the glacier’s viewing area to call for help from Valdez Fire Department crews and Alaska State Troopers. Three rescuers were able to rappel into the crevasse to help Schenher.
“Crews did get down with rescue,” Keeney said. “They had to pick him up using an elbow and wrist to get him out of there -- he was wedged in.”
After Schenher was removed from the glacier, he was flown by helicopter to a parking lot at the glacier’s viewing area. Weather conditions kept the helicopter crew from flying to Providence Valdez Medical Center, so Schenher was taken there by an ambulance.
Keeney said that Schenher was in guarded condition at Providence Valdez Medical Center.