Matthew David Read: Missing Montana hiker, 19, rescued 3 days after falling chest-deep into snow on Huckleberry Mountain

Matthew David Read: Missing Montana hiker, 19, rescued 3 days after falling chest-deep into snow on Huckleberry Mountain
Matthew David Read, 19, was found on Monday night with the help of thermal imaging mounted on a helicopter (Glacier National Park, Two Bear Air Rescue)

GLACIER COUNTY, MONTANA: A 19-year-old Montana hiker has been rescued three days after getting buried chest-deep in the snow on Huckleberry Mountain in Glacier National Park. Matthew Read was found "somewhat responsive" on Monday night after he was reported missing on Sunday, May 7. 

Read was out on the Huckleberry Lookout trail on Friday when he was last heard. He slipped into a drain on the mountain's east side after reaching the first saddle, where the trail was covered in snow. He lost his phone, water bottle, and shoes as he fell into chest-deep snow.


Barry Bahrami: San Diego man who caught 2 Navy ships nearly colliding ordered to take down live cameras

Nante Niemi: Michigan boy, 8, who went missing during family camping trip found after two days

Read couldn't climb back to the trial 

Read began making his way down the drainage after realizing he couldn't climb back up to the trail as per a Glacier National Park news release. Rangers found his vehicle on Sunday at Huckleberry Lookout trailhead after he was reported overdue to rangers on Sunday.


The Park rangers then began a "hasty search" Sunday afternoon. The search was expanded Monday morning. Two Bear Air Rescue attempted a search on Sunday but it was hampered due to "low clouds and fog." Two Bear Air Rescue said in a statement posted on Facebook that "same weather conditions continued into Monday."

Footprints became more challenging to follow 

Luckily as per the rescue team Teledyne FLIR which designs and manufactures thermal imaging cameras was in town with the helicopter to test a new camera system and demonstrate it for Two Bears Air Rescue. "Both slide marks and footprints were identified in the snow below the lookout, directing the aircrew down the mountain and into a thick drainage," the rescue agency stated. However, "Due to the recent warm temperatures, the snow patches diminished and footprints became more challenging to follow."


Read 'was located after dark in thick timber with infrared camera'

The rescue service attempted a few more separate flights and Read "was located after dark in thick timber with our infrared camera. The crew then inserted a rescue specialist, hoisted the survivor out, and delivered him to an awaiting ambulance."  The Park Service said the teen was located by the rescuers at 11 pm. "Read was extricated via a 175 ft hoist, flown out of the park, and transferred to Evergreen Ambulance. He is in stable condition."  Rangers besides Two Bear Air Rescue were assisted by US Border Patrol, Flathead County Sheriff’s Office, North Valley, and Flathead Search and Rescue.


Share this article:

 Matthew Read, 19, rescued 3 days after falling into snow