A Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office helicopter rescued two Pacific Crest Trail hikers over the weekend, in separate incidents west of Glacier Peak. (Courtesy of Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office)

A Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office helicopter rescued two Pacific Crest Trail hikers over the weekend, in separate incidents west of Glacier Peak. (Courtesy of Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office)

2 hikers saved in separate rescues west of Glacier Peak

One man was ill, wet and caught in snow along the Pacific Crest Trail. Another suffered a head injury.

DARRINGTON — Two hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail were flown to safety over the weekend in separate helicopter rescues west of Glacier Peak.

Both men used GPS beacons to call for help.

A Toronto man, 41, who was nearing the finish line of the 2,650-mile hike, sent a distress signal Saturday from the Kennedy Creek crossing. It’s one of the muddiest and roughest stretches of the trail from Mexico to Canada.

The man had fallen into a creek, and he was suffering from an intestinal illness. It was snowing. SnoHawk 10 took flight around 1 p.m. The crew found the man, hoisted him out and flew him to Providence Regional Medical Center Everett around 2:20 p.m., according to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.

“Had he stayed up there much longer, it could’ve been fatal,” sheriff’s spokeswoman Shari Ireton said.

Another man, 76, of Chelan, called for help with his locator beacon around 11:20 a.m. Sunday. Quickly, the SnoHawk 10 crew found some of his gear near White Mountain, but not the man. Another hiker helped in the search, and eventually the pilot found the man in the river valley of the North Fork Sauk River trail, on his way to the nearest trailhead, which is 9 miles off the Pacific Crest Trail. He’d fallen and suffered a head injury that seemed to cause him to lose his balance. He could no longer walk or stand on his own.

A Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office helicopter rescued two Pacific Crest Trail hikers over the weekend, in separate incidents west of Glacier Peak. (Courtesy of Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office)

A Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office helicopter rescued two Pacific Crest Trail hikers over the weekend, in separate incidents west of Glacier Peak. (Courtesy of Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office)

“Rescuers noted it was wise for him to keep moving, as temperatures had dropped into the 20s and it was snowing,” according to the sheriff’s office.

The injured man was a section hiker, going from the Lake Wenatchee area to Stehekin. He was flown to a waiting ambulance at Taylor’s Landing near Snohomish.

By the time northbound thru-hikers reach the remote Glacier Peak Wilderness, they tend to be about a week of hiking away from Canada. This time of year they’re weary and trying to complete the trek before harsh snowy weather arrives — which can be a recipe for serious injury or death.

The sheriff’s office offered the following advice:

• Hiking in the mountains in the fall means the weather can be unpredictable and change in a matter of minutes.

• Know the forecast before you hit the trail.

• Bring a map and compass and know how to use them.

• Even the most familiar of trails can easily disappear under a few inches of snow.

• Bring extra clothes and outer layers — more than you think you’ll need.

• Remember the sun sets earlier and earlier this time of year, especially in the mountains.

Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; chutton@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @snocaleb.

Talk to us

More in Local News

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
‘White saviorhood’: Mukilteo schools end ‘Mockingbird’ requirement

The book is not banned in the school district. The last book brought before the school board was by Maya Angelou.

Jesse Spitzer (Snohomish County Sheriff's Office)
Wanted man fled from Gold Bar to Idaho, police say

Jesse Spitzer, 30, who has a history of violence against officers, is wanted for felonies in two states.

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
Guv will testify; a dinosaur is revived; GOP is resurgent

Here’s what’s happening on Day 17 of the 2022 session of the Washington Legislature.

Police looking for Mukilteo bank robber, seeking tips

The man appeared to be in his late 20s or early 30s, white, slender, about 5-foot-8, with dark blond hair.

Police: Marysville Pilchuck student arrested for wielding knife

Neither of the students involved in the Wednesday morning fight was injured, police reported.

Registered nurse Estella Wilmarth tends to a patient in the acute care unit of Harborview Medical Center, Friday, Jan. 14, 2022, in Seattle. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is deploying 100 members of the state National Guard to hospitals across the state amid staff shortages due to an omicron-fueled spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations. Inslee announced Thursday that teams will be deployed to assist four overcrowded emergency departments at hospitals in Everett, Yakima, Wenatchee and Spokane, and that testing teams will be based at hospitals in Olympia, Richland, Seattle and Tacoma. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Past the omicron peak? Snohomish County’s COVID cases declining

Hospitalizations are still a concern, however, and infections in Eastern Washington and Idaho could have ripple effects here.

A map of city council districts and districting commission nominees put forth by the Everett City Council and mayor. (City of Everett)
Everett council, mayor pick districting commission nominees

Only one returns from the previous commission, while another is a former city council member.

Funko mascots Freddy Funko roll past on a conveyor belt in the Pop! Factory of the company's new flagship store on Aug. 18, 2017.  (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Despite Arizona move, Everett leaders expect Funko HQ to stay

The toymaker is closing Everett warehouses. But a recent “HQ2” expansion has the city confident Funko will remain rooted here.

Lynnwood Public Works employees on the snow plow crew sit in front of one of the city's two plows that will be named based on results of an online public vote. (City of Lynnwood)
Lynnwood snow plow names: Snowbi Wan Kenobi, Plowy McPlowface

They got the two highest votes in an online public survey by Lynnwood Public Works.

Most Read