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

Comments welcome on the proposed Lake Stevens Costco

The company’s permit to fill wetlands is under review. Public comment is open until April 12.

Naval Station Everett sailor diagnosed with COVID-19

The crew member is assigned to the USS Johnson. This is the only sailor to be so diagnosed in the state.

Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest closes amid COVID-19

Much of Snohomish County’s most pristine and remote land is part of the 2,690-square-mile forest.

Staffing and print changes: The Herald’s outbreak response

On “Herald Headlines,” Executive Editor Phillip O’Connor provides an update about the Herald newsroom.

Governor says he could extend the two-week stay-home order

Resuming normal living too soon could enable the virus to “spring back up on us,” Jay Inslee said Thursday.

Need for blood donations grows

“Just like going to the grocery store, these things need to stay happening.”

Tulalip Tribes join the call for residents to stay home

Similar to other orders, the tribes say reservation residents should stay home except to do essential tasks.

Inslee signs new law requiring public schools offer sex ed

Foes can now gather signatures for a referendum that would give voters a chance to keep or repeal it

Feds accuse ex-lawmaker of conducting digital coin scam

The SEC alleges Dave Schmidt and two others bilked $4 million from investors who bought them.

Most Read