Wasilla man found dead on Pioneer Peak
By Ed Truitt, ADN 11/25/81
Chugach State Park rangers found the body of Albert Wood, 43, of Wasilla, at the 2,500 foot level of Pioneer Peak late Tuesday morning, ending a two-day search for the missing climber.
Wood set out Saturday morning to climb the rugged 6,398-foot mountain overlooking Palmer. His wife, Beulah Wood, reported him missing Sunday night when he failed to return on schedule.
A helicopter from the Rescue Coordination Center at Elmendorf Air Force Base searched the west ridge of the mountain Monday without success. A three searchers, who began searching from the bottom of the mountain Monday afternoon, reported finding tracks but were turned back by darkness.
The search began again Tuesday morning as the team of four Chugach State Park rangers flew by helicopter to the 3,800-foot level of the mountain, and ground teams started climbing up from the bottom.
Searchers found Wood's pack cached near the treeline with his space blanket hanging from a nearby tree, apparently for a reference point on the climber's return, State Trooper Sgt. Jack Young. "When we found his pack, put hopes of finding him alive dinned considerably," said Young. Climbers found Wood's body in the snow near a small avalanche. Whether the slide was started by the climbers fall of vice versa was uncertain.
An active outdoorsman, who friends said often hiked or kayaked alone, Wood was a radiology technician at Providence Hospital.