Thursday, July 12, 2001

Tristate family rescued in Alaska

Couple, two children were snowed in on glacier

By Lew Moores credit and The Associated Press
The Cincinnati Enquirer credit and The Associated Press

        A family of four from Anderson Township was rescued from a glacier in an Alaskan national park Monday, and a neighbor of the family said she's not surprised that the entire family got through the ordeal safely.

        The Anchorage Daily News and the Associated Press reported Wednesday that Clyde and Camille Gilbert and their two children, Joshua, 16, and Ashley, 11, were rescued by a helicopter after being snowed in on Nabesna Glacier in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park.

        Tammy Thompson, an Anderson Township neighbor, said the family members were all experienced backpackers who had camped in several places in the country.

        “They do this every year,” said Ms. Thompson. “They go somewhere else. They're skilled, and they practice. He's very meticulous. They take every precaution. They know how to ration their food if they have to.

        “They went out West and have done this. They've been up to the Michigan upper peninsula, to Montana,” she said.

        “This isn't the first time Mr. Gilbert has been to Alaska. He went with friends before.”

        According to reports, the family was snowed in on the glacier over the weekend while camping.

        The family immediately began rationing its food.

        A pilot who had dropped the family off on the glacier July 3 was unable to pick them up as planned Sunday because of the snow.

        He notified the National Park Service, which sent a helicopter to rescue them.

        “We never felt like we were actually stranded,” Mr. Gilbert said.

        Ms. Thompson said the family flew to Alaska on June 30 and is expected to return to Anderson Township on Saturday.

        She has not been in touch with them.


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