Mount Marathon Rescue Efforts Continue (KTVA.com Exclusive)
KTVA's Megan Edge was with the search party
Jackie Marshal was to my left and shouted my name, making sure I was well. We had briefly lost sight of one another, but she was only three feet away from me. We made it to the spruce trees and in a single-file line we began trekking uphill.
“Okay, stop,” yelled Denis. Denis is a tall man, with a suntan, an experienced outdoorsman, and our team captain. “Lets count.”
From one to 18 the shouts of the hikers yelling numbers, echoed across the mountain. We were all there, and moving back toward the ridge we started at.
I climbed through trees, and to my left saw Marshall almost on her knees searching for any clue she could find.
I tumbled out of the trees and into devil’s club. I was briefly out of sight from the rest of our search team. I regained my balance and kept moving.
Our starting point was a series of snow tunnels that formed due to heavy snowfall. We took a break, rehydrated, and Mark, an Anchorage shop owner, began climbing beneath them. Inside the tunnels was water than ran like a waterfall from the top of the mountain.
Those of us on top of the tunnel were instructed not to move, as he carefully inspected the highly hazardous area on all-fours.
He came out dripping wet and empty-handed.
According to Mark and Marshall, many snow tunnels that had been there on race day were no longer there – they had collapsed, something that took a dog’s life last year.
We continued to climb the mountain and search, but after four hours the jeep was back and the day was over.
“It's just a mystery,” said Marshall, a Seward resident who has been running the race for the last 13 years. “I mean I remember injuries, but never anything like this.” After the race her husband helped in the search for LeMaitre for three days. “I read that they were asking for help from anyone who is willing to search, so I did.”
She said that this years problems will not affect her decision to continue running Mount Marathon, but she hopes it gives future runners perspective.
“I mean no disrespect to the family, but it will give people pause, so people know what they are getting into. It's very serious and it’s easy to underestimate how difficult it can be.”
LeMaitre was last seen in a black t-shirt, black shorts, red and black gloves, and about 200 feet from the top of the mountain.
Squires said he will continue to search until he has no more resources, but as long as the volunteers are coming in he will keep treating them with the small-town hospitality that Seward is known for, and he will keep searching for Michael LeMaitre.