UPDATE: Chelan County issued a press release saying the hikers have been found.
By Pete O’Cain / The Wenatchee World
LEAVENWORTH — Rescue crews are searching in The Enchantments for a pair of hikers not heard from since Saturday.
The hikers, two women from Snohomish, were attempting to complete the Enchantment Loop Trail in one day, a roughly 20-mile trek through the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, and were expected to be done Saturday evening, said Jason Reinfeld with the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office.
A rescue crew didn’t find the pair Sunday afternoon, but there was a possible sighting of them at Earle Lake, which Reinfeld described as “far off trail.”
The high heat and altitude of the area — about 8,000 feet — prevented a helicopter search of the area on Monday, Reinfeld said. The combination lowers the density of the air and some helicopters aren’t able to generate enough lift to fly.
Four teams of rescuers were sent into The Enchantments Monday afternoon in an attempt to locate the hikers and all are prepared to stay overnight, Reinfeld said.
A fifth team may be inserted into the area by a Huey helicopter belonging to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office. Reinfeld said the Huey might fare better than Chelan County’s helicopter.
He added that he expects members of the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office will aid in the search Tuesday.
This is the second search and rescue on the Enchantment Loop Trail in less than a week. On Thursday, a woman was airlifted from the trail after showing symptoms of heat stroke.
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