Missing Man found safe in Denali National Park

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Missing hiker Mukunda Egen was found alive and in good health in Denali National Park and Preserve Sunday evening, two days after he was separated from his hiking partner.

According to a release from park officials, Egen was spotted by a helicopter crew around 7:45 p.m. Sunday.

“Egen, 42, was found in the headwaters of Sanctuary River; about six miles from where he was last seen Friday night,” the release said.

He was reportedly in good condition, but was delivered to park headquarters for medical evaluation.

Original Story: Searchers on Sunday were looking for a 42-year-old California man who failed to return from a Friday hike in Denali National Park and Preserve.

Mukunda Egen was last seen at about 11 p.m. Friday, according to a statement issued by the park Sunday.

Egen, described as a seasonal worker in the area and novice backpacker, set out on a day hike from the Teklanika Campground, about 29 miles from the park entrance, on Friday before separating from his hiking partner at about 11 p.m. to take a less steep route. He had earlier complained of knee pain. The two hikers then lost sight of each other through thick fog.

The man’s companion tried to retrace their route before returning to the campground around 4 a.m. but couldn’t find Egen, according to the statement. She then contacted park rangers.

About 40 people, a helicopter, hikers and two Fairbanks search and rescue dog teams were searching high-brush willows in rainy, foggy conditions Sunday.

Egen is described as 6 feet 1 inch tall and 170 pounds with brown hair and a short beard. He was wearing an orange jacket and a green-and-gray hat. “Egen, according to his companion, was not prepared for an overnight hike nor did he have rain gear or extra food and water,” the statement said.

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