A Soldotna man died from hypothermia over the weekend when he was hiking in the Angel Creek Valley area, near mile 49 Chena Hot Springs Road, according to Alaska State Troopers.
Jarred Allen, 26, left to go hiking alone on Friday and was due to return Sunday. According to troopers spokesman Ken Marsh, family members reported the man as missing Monday morning. His next of kin have been notified.
“We got the report yesterday (Monday) at just before nine in the morning that he was overdue,” Marsh said. “He was expected back by family members on the third. When he didn’t turn up as he was supposed to, they ended up calling troopers.”
Alaska State Parks rangers responded to the area to search for the man using ATVs and found him deceased. Troopers then responded in a helicopter to recover the body. Marsh said Allen's body was found about 6 miles from the road and roughly a mile from the upper Angel Creek Cabin in the Chena River State Recreation Area.
According to troopers, the cause of death is believed to be hypothermia and no foul play is suspected at this time. The State Medical Examiner’s Office has requested the body for autopsy.
“Indications were that hypothermia was probably the cause,” Marsh said. “Temperatures were down to the single digits yesterday morning out in that area — and certainly hypothermia can occur at temperatures ranging up to 50 degrees.”
In order to mitigate the chances of hypothermia, hikers should wear a lot of warm layers and ensure they consume enough calories.
“We’ve transitioned very quickly from fall into winter weather. We want to make sure that we’re properly dressed,” Marsh said. “Proper hydration and nutrition is another important factor in avoiding hypothermia. You want to make sure you have a proper amount of calories.”
Contact staff writer Alistair Gardiner at 459-7575. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMoutdoors.