Locals upset by adventurer's rescue

FAIRBANKS, Alaska, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- An Australian man who went unprepared into Alaska's wilderness has drawn the ire of some locals after his $93,000 rescue.

Dave Roberts, 54 was attempting to trek through the Brooks Range wilderness. Local residents warned him against heading into the isolated area, the Fairbanks Daily News reported.


He was picked up last Saturday by a seven-member rescue team after he set off a long-distance distress call Friday amid his worries about frostbite and fatigue.

Jamie Klaes, manager of the Bettles Lodge, where the Alaska Air National Guard paid for Robert's room after his rescue, said he was unimpressed.

"It felt like he was being rewarded for stupidity," Klaes said.

Roberts had set off from Bettles two months earlier.

"We pretty much assumed he was either going to have to get rescued or die out there," Klaes said.

Beginning in September, Roberts spent three weeks by himself at Nutuvukti Lake, west of Bettles. During the next several weeks, he walked back toward Bettles.

"The purpose of the trip for me was to explore solitude, to experience wilderness directly," said Roberts, a photographer who kept a video diary as he traveled.


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