Juneau Mountain Rescue

Juneau Mountain Rescue (JMR), is a mountain search and rescue agency, located in Juneau, Alaska United States. JMR is a member of the Alaska Search and Rescue Association, and facilitates rescues involving wilderness terrain, rope rescues on rock faces, ice and snow fields, glaciers, and during avalanches, medical evacuations, missing persons cases, aircraft crashes and other disasters.[1] An all-volunteer organization, JMR coordinates with Capital City Fire/Rescue, the Juneau Police Department, the Alaska State Troopers, the United States Coast Guard, and other emergency response agencies during search and rescue operations.[2][3]

Juneau Mountain Rescue
Juneau Mountain Rescue members prepare gear for a rescue mission, facilitated by the US Coast Guard, in 2011
Members of Juneau Mountain Rescue prepare gear for a rescue mission, facilitated by the US Coast Guard, in 2011
TypePublic Safety, Search and Rescue
Area served
Southeast Alaska United States
MethodMountain Rescue, Rope Rescue, Avalanche Rescue

Operational historyEdit

Juneau Mountain Rescue was founded in 1982 after Steve Lewis taught a series of high-angle rescue classes in the Spring, Summer and Fall of 1982.[1] Founding members: Steve Lewis, Bob Poe and Cathy Poe, and Jeff Badger. In 1989 Lewis, Cynda Stanek, & William (Bill) Wildes incorporated JMR. Lewis served as JMR's director 'til 2009 - having completed more than 212 search, rescue and recovery operations. Since 2004, JMR has been a fully accredited member of the international Mountain Rescue Association (MRA), having passed a rigorous test of JMR's rescue abilities at Juneau's Eaglecrest Ski Area. At the time of its accreditation, JMR was one of 56 mountain rescue agencies accredited by the MRA.[4]

Juneau Mountain Rescue operates under the FCC call sign WPZP295 for radio communications. The call sign is currently licensed until February 11, 2024.[5]

Notable incidentsEdit

In December, 2000, a Bellanca Scout airplane carrying former Routt County, Colorado Sheriff Ed Burch, at the time working as a flight instructor, and another man went missing during a training flight near Juneau. Juneau Mountain Rescue, working with other agencies, including the local Civil Air Patrol and the Army National Guard, found pieces of the Scout between Douglas and Admiralty Island. The plane's fuselage and passengers were never found.[6]

In January, 2011, JMR volunteers, working with the Alaska State Troopers and the Coast Guard, rescued an injured hiker on Ripikski Mountain, near Haines. A Coast Guard crew on a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter, dispatched from Sitka, transported the hiker to Bartlett Regional Hospital in Juneau.[7]

In March, 2014, two teenage boys, one a local resident and the other a visitor from Switzerland, got lost hiking on Mount Juneau. The teens were able to call for help on a cell phone, and told emergency dispatchers that they were "cold and disoriented". JMR volunteers, working with a commercial helicopter company, located the teenagers and returned them to town.[8]

In May, 2014, a woman named Sharon Buis was reported missing in the area of Juneau's Mount Roberts. A search was coordinated by JMR on both Mount Juneau and Mount Roberts, with parts of the effort being facilitated by use of the Mount Roberts Tramway.[9][10] JMR coordinated with the Alaska State Troopers, and the US Coast Guard during the lengthy search. Despite an exhaustive search, Buis was never found.[11] After several days of searching, the case was transferred to the Juneau Police Department, and is an active missing persons case.[12]

On February 15, 2015, four hikers were rescued by members of JMR, after becoming stranded in mountainous wilderness in the Thane area of Juneau. The hikers suffered injuries related to cold weather conditions, and were taken to Bartlett Regional Hospital.[13]


  1. ^ a b "Alaska Search and Rescue Association ASARA". Retrieved March 20, 2015.
  2. ^ "JMR on ice". Juneau Empire. May 24, 2013. Retrieved March 20, 2015.
  3. ^ "High winds trap climbing group near Juneau". KTVA. February 2, 2015. Retrieved March 21, 2015.
  4. ^ "Juneau's mountain rescue team is nationally certified". Juneau Empire. March 21, 2004. Retrieved March 20, 2015.
  5. ^ "FCC Callsign WPZP295 (JUNEAU MOUNTAIN RESCUE INC)". Radioreference.com. March 16, 2015. Retrieved March 22, 2015.
  6. ^ "Former sheriff missing". Steamboat Pilot & Today. December 31, 2000. Retrieved March 22, 2015.
  7. ^ "Coast Guard Medevacs Injured Hiker From Ripikski Mountain". Coast Guard News. January 6, 2011. Retrieved March 21, 2015.
  8. ^ "Troopers: 'Very cold' lost teens rescued off Mount Juneau". Alaska Dispatch News. March 31, 2014. Retrieved March 23, 2015.
  9. ^ "Search teams, friends look for woman on Mount Roberts". Juneau Empire. May 26, 2014. Retrieved March 20, 2015.
  10. ^ "Volunteers Still Searching For Missing Juneau Hiker". Alaska Public Media. June 6, 2014. Retrieved March 23, 2015.
  11. ^ "Update: Troopers call off search for missing hiker". Juneau Empire. May 30, 2014. Retrieved March 21, 2015.
  12. ^ "Search for missing hiker goes underground". Juneau Empire. August 20, 2014. Retrieved March 21, 2015.
  13. ^ "Updated: Stranded hikers off Thane area mountain ridge". KTOO-TV. February 2, 2015. Retrieved March 20, 2015.

External linksEdit