Missing Teenager Found in Glacier National Park, MT, After Surviving Almost 4 Days on 2 Granola Bars and Without Shoes in Freezing Conditions

Julia Schneemann | | Industry NewsIndustry News
Two Bear Air
Two Bear Air’s Bell 429 GlobalRanger twin-engine helicopter. | Picture: Two Bear Air Rescue Facebook Page

A 19-year-old hiker, who went missing in Glacier National Park, MT, was found alive by Two Bear Air Rescue on Monday, May 8, 2023. The teenager was reported missing on Sunday, May 7, 2023, after not returning from a hike on Friday, May 5, 2023.

Matthew David Read, a chemical engineering student at Brigham Young University, UT, passed through Montana on his way home to Michigan. Matthew set out around noon on Friday to hike the Huckleberry Lookout Trail in Glacier National Park, MT, less than two hours from the Canadian border. Matthew was traveling alone, so his out-of-state family did not report him missing until Sunday. His vehicle was located at the trailhead north of Apgar Sunday, and Two Bear Air Rescue attempted a search flight, hampered by inclement weather.

On Monday, Two Bear Air Rescue searched the area again, locating a slide and tracks in the snow. The helicopter tried to follow the tracks leaving the slide but could not locate Matthew. Three unsuccessful search attempts were made before a special infrared camera discovered him on Monday night. Matthew was found around 10 p.m., barefoot and barely responsive, by a rescuer winged down into the forest from where he retrieved the teenager. The system picks up body heat, and Two Bear Air shared the incredible footage of locating Matthew in the dense woods and the ensuing rescue on social media.,

Two Bear Air Rescue
An unrelated helicopter rescue by Two Bear Air Rescue. | Picture: Two Bear Air Rescue Facebook Page

According to his mother Barbara Read, Matthew had lost his shoes, phone, and water bottle in the snow when he had slid down. He had tried to return to the city but had gotten lost and sought shelter from the rain under the trees near a creek. He had two granola bars and drank water from the creek. He had a small backpack and a windbreaker but was now barefoot and in shorts. He suffered hypothermia and frostbite but is recovering in hospital and will be flown to the Mayo Clinic to receive treatment in a hyperbaric chamber. Matthew is looking to make a full recovery.

It is an incredible story of survival and a fantastic feat by Two Bear Air to have not given up and tried everything possible to find Matthew. It also highlights the dangers when venturing outdoors alone. Luckily Matthew had communicated his plans, and rescuers knew where to look for him. It is also a stark reminder to be prepared for all mountain conditions and carry rations and warm clothes for unforeseen circumstances.

Two Bear Air Rescue is based near Whitefish, Montana, and provides world-class aviation support for Search and Rescue operations across the Northwest United States. It is funded 100% by local philanthropist Michael Goguen and helps wildlife researchers track grizzly bear movements. Goguen is an engineer by trade and venture capitalist who has invested in many successful tech start-ups at Sequoia Capital and his firm Two Bear Capital.

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