Pratt 12/4/78 Resurrection Trail
Snowmobiler dies on trail
One member of the Mat-Su Motor Mushers, a
Matanuska Valley snowmobile club, died Saturday night atop the
Five others were to have been ferried out
this morning, state troopers report.
Owen Marshall Pratt, 51,
of Wasilla, was part of an 18-member party that was to have met in
the middle after starting at different ends of the trail.
Twelve motor mushers left from Hope; and 6 left from Cooper Landing,
according to troopers.
When the Saturday night storm which
dumped upwards of a foot of snow on Southcentral Alaska swooped down
on the party, the group circled up their machines, hunkered down for
the night and waited for sunlight. They shared two sleeping
In the morning, Pratt was dead. Troopers
speculated that be had died of exposure, but were not yet
His death was relayed to authorities by one of the
club members who made it to the road in the morning and called out
on his citizens band radio.
The Elmendorf Rescue Coordination
Center dropped a paramedic to the six person party, which spent the
bitter cold night-in the East Fork cabin. He spent Sunday
night with the party and was to have helped further rescue
operations this morning.
Soldotna Troopers report that
despite high winds and the fresh snow, all of the party, which
planned to spend the night on the trail, was accounted