Searchers spent a third day Wednesday looking for a Glacier National Park employee who didn’t return from a hike they believe he took in a steep, mountainous part of the park in Montana, officials said.
Jacob “Jake” Rigby, 27, was reported overdue at 2 a.m. Monday after failing to return from a hike he started on his personal time the day before, the park said in a news release.
On Tuesday – the second day of a search involving ground crews and helicopters – searchers found what park officials believe is his signature on a register at the summit of the park’s Brave Dog Mountain. It was dated Sunday, the park said.
Rigby, a seasonal employee working with the park’s exotic plant team, is an avid and skilled hiker who is familiar with the park, according to park officials.
“This area (that Rigby is believed to have hiked) is extremely steep and treacherous. It is an area that only the most highly skilled hikers and climbers attempt to access,” the news release said.
Park rangers found his vehicle Monday at a trailhead at the southern end of the park, along state Highway 2.
Searchers may have to contend with snow in the higher parts of the park Thursday morning. The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory saying 1 to 3 inches of snow could fall in certain areas, including trails above 6,500 feet.
Park spokeswoman Denise Germann said ground crews are prepared to stay in the park up to two nights because the weather could prevent air crews from picking them up.