SULTAN — A frostbitten German hiker on the Pacific Crest Trail was rescued Tuesday by helicopter near Glacier Peak.
Katharina Groene, 34, of Munich, had been solo hiking the trail for months when she was caught in a winter storm this week.
Days earlier, a Sultan hiker, Nancy Abell, had encountered Groene near Stevens Pass. They talked about the potential dangers of the Cascades at this time of year, but Groene decided to press on with her hike.
Abell kept a close eye on the forecast. She alerted the sheriff’s office Monday that Groene was likely in danger. Snowhawk1 found her near Mica Lake — soaking wet, with frostbite setting into her feet. She had little food and was ill-equipped for snow travel. She was flown to safety.
“If Nancy had not taken action, Katharina would have most likely died in the mountains,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release. “Please remember that winter weather comes much earlier in the mountains and it is extremely important to be well prepared with proper clothing, shelter and food when backpacking.”