Drowning or hypothermia likely killed Glacier hiker

2013-02-02T10:30:00Z 2014-10-03T14:27:21Z Drowning or hypothermia likely killed Glacier hikerBy TRISTAN SCOTT of the Missoulian missoulian.com
February 02, 2013 10:30 am  • 

WEST GLACIER – A 19-year-old hiker who died last summer in Glacier National Park was not killed in a fall, as was previously believed, but likely drowned or succumbed to hypothermia, officials said.

Jakson Kreiser, 19, of Hudsonville, Mich., and a seasonal employee in the kitchen at Lake McDonald Lodge, went missing July 28, 2012, after attempting a mostly off-trail hike known as the Floral Park Traverse, a route that begins at Logan Pass and ends at the Sperry Chalet trailhead, near Lake McDonald Lodge.

His body was discovered by hikers on Sept. 13, six weeks after he went missing. It was submerged in about 4 inches of water in a small waterfall drainage running between two cliff bands southwest of Hidden Lake.

Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry said the water would have been several feet deep and running fast in July, and at a temperature of just above freezing. Curry theorized that Kreiser slipped while trying to cross the drainage, which was likely 20 feet wide at the time.

Prior to the autopsy, officials believed the cause of Kreiser’s death likely was a fall, as his body was recovered in treacherous country, but his death was later established to have been caused by exposure.

“He did not die of a traumatic injury,” Curry said. “The cause of death was listed as exposure, which means it was either hypothermia or a submerged cold-water drowning. Our supposition is that he could have tripped on a rock while crossing. He may have hit his head, but there was no significant vertical fall. He would not have lasted very long in that water.“

An intensive search in the days after Kreiser’s disappearance focused on the area between Hidden Lake, some five miles south of Logan Pass, and Avalanche Lake to the west. The search included aerial monitoring by plane, but the water would have obscured Kreiser’s body from search parties.

Drowning is the No. 1 cause of death in Glacier National Park, and hikers are encouraged to travel in groups.

Reporter Tristan Scott can be reached at (406) 531-9745 or at tscott@missoulian.com.

Copyright 2015 missoulian.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

No Comments Posted.

Missoulian Civil Dialogue Policy

Civil Dialogue Policy for Commenting on Missoulian.com

We provide this community forum for readers to exchange ideas and opinions on the news of the day. Passionate views, pointed criticism and critical thinking are welcome. Comments can only be submitted by registered users. By posting comments on our site, you are agreeing to the following terms:

Commentary and photos submitted to the Missoulian (Missoulian.com) may be published or distributed in print, electronically or other forms. Opinions expressed in Missoulian.com's comments reflect the opinions of the author, and are not necessarily the opinions of the Missoulian or its parent company. See the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Our guidelines prohibit the solicitation of products or services, the impersonation of another site user, threatening or harassing postings and the use of vulgar, abusive, obscene or sexually oriented language, defamatory or illegal material. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability or other classification. It's fine to criticize ideas, but ad hominem attacks on other site users are prohibited. Users who violate those standards may lose their privileges on missoulian.com.

You may not post copyrighted material from another publication. (Link to it instead, using a headline or very brief excerpt.)

No short policy such as this can spell out all possible instances of material or behavior that we might deem to be a violation of our publishing standards, and we reserve the right to remove any material posted to the site.

Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick

Search our events calendar