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SNOHAWK1 rescues Pacific Crest Trail hiker

Hiker with rescuers. Left to right: Chief Pilot Quistorf, Nancy Abell (911 caller), Katharina Groene (hiker), Pilot Espeland. Photo courtesy of Snohomish County Sheriff's Office.
Hiker with rescuers. Left to right: Chief Pilot Quistorf, Nancy Abell (911 caller), Katharina Groene (hiker), Pilot Espeland. Photo courtesy of Snohomish County Sheriff's Office.

From a Snohomish County Sheriff's Office news release.

At approximately 1:00 pm on Monday, October 29, 2018, the Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue team responded to the Pacific Crest Trail to search for a 34 year-old hiker from Germany who was ill-equipped for the winter weather storm in the mountains. After 1.5 hours of flight time, she was located by SNOHAWK1 near Mica Lake just off the Pacific Crest Trail.

She was wet, cold and showed signs of hypothermia when the Search and Rescue Team reached her. SNOHAWK1 transported her back to Taylor’s Landing where she was treated by aid.

The 34 year-old German female began heading north on a solo hike of the Pacific Crest Tail in May. Last Monday, October 22nd, she met another avid hiker and Sultan resident who gave her a ride to Stevens Pass, where she tried to talk the German out of traveling north so late in the year. However, the 34 year-old hiker believed she was equipped for the weather and went on with her journey.

A week later, on October 29th, the Sultan resident called 911 to report the Pacific Crest Tail hiker she met was likely in danger due to the extreme winter weather conditions and dropping temperatures. 

SNOHAWK1 responded to the approximate area and located tracks in the snow near the Pacific Crest Tail. After multiple unsuccessful attempts to safely land the helicopter in the terrain, one of the pilots jumped out of the helicopter and stacked several logs to create a level platform to land on.

The female hiker was located about 50 yards from where the helicopter landed. Her shelter had blown away, she lost her gloves, and was soaking wet with very limited food left. She did not have a locator beacon and had attempted to call for help the day prior, but had no cell service.

Just after 3:00 pm, SNOHAWK1 transported the 34 year-old hiker to Taylor’s Landing where she was treated by aid.

Hiker's tracks near Pacific Crest Trail at 5,500 foot elevation. Photo courtesy of Snohomish County Sheriff's Office.

Hiker's tracks near Pacific Crest Trail at 5,500 foot elevation. Photo courtesy of Snohomish County Sheriff's Office.

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