Posts tagged: search and rescue
UPDATED at 5:10 p.m.
IKING — A 23-year-old woman reported missing for six days while hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in southwest Washington was found safe this weekend.
Alejandra Wilson was located Saturday afternoon, authorities told the Associated Press. She was cold and tired but otherwise OK.
A search team spotted the Oregon woman walking in the Crest trail area as she started hiking out. She was reported missing after becoming overdue for a trail check Sept. 30.
Sgt. George Town of the Yakima County sheriff’s office said Wilson reported that she got stranded by a snow storm about a week ago and waited until conditions improved before walking out.
“She said the snow was almost waist deep and she was pretty well stuck. She wasn’t lost, she was just stuck,” Town said in an interview Sunday.
Wilson told authorities she hunkered down and set up camp under some trees to wait out the storm, he said. From there, she said she spotted the Coast Guard helicopters that went up in search of her. The helicopters flew overhead but she wasn’t able to flag them down in time, Town said.
“The Coast Guard guys were right on track. They did a good job. She wasn’t able to make herself visible,” but their presence “gave her real confidence,” Town said.
He noted that she still had food when she was located Saturday. She was reunited with her dad, grandparents and friends Saturday.
Some of the volunteer searchers included hiking companions who had been on the trail with her earlier in her trip, Town said Sunday.
The Oregonian caught up to Wilson for a first-hand account and the “chilling” details. Click “continue reading” to read the account from the AP Wire.
NAVIGATION — Long before GPS, Google Earth, and global transit, humans traveled vast distances using only environmental clues and simple instruments.
John Huth, Harvard physics professor and author of The Lost Art of Finding Our Way, says we can still do it.
Anyone who ventures outdoors should at least check out this book and ponder the consequences of allowing modern technology to substitute for our innate capacity to find our way.
Even today, careful observation of the sun and moon, tides and ocean currents, moss on trees, weather and atmospheric effects can be all we need to find our way.
WINTER SPORTS — Today's story about students rescuing a snowshoer's bluetick coonhound lost in the Kettle Range for two nights offers a life lesson to all of us.
Helping other people can be remarkably easy and productive if we just make the effort to try.
Think about what we could accomplish if everyone looked for a way to contribute every day rather than leaving it to somebody else.
HIKING — A couple of seasoned hikers made three classic mistakes that left them out on the slopes of Mount Rainier for a cold night in the woods Tuesday.
In a nutshell:
- They separated from their party (and the party didn't wait for them at a critical trail junction!);
- They didn't bring a map for the area to make an educated decision at the trail junction,
- They didn't have matches that would light a warming fire when they realized they had to spend the night out in temps that ranged to about 40 degrees.
But they did a few things right.
“I can tell you this for sure, his butt is warmer than mine,” said one of the hikers, both of whom are older than 75.
“Yeah, how do you know?” the reporter asked.
“Because I was right up against it. And that’s a pretty strange feeling, I can tell you.”
Read on for the story by Scott Sandsberry of the Yakima Herald-Republic
MOUNTAINEERING — Major searches and rescues at Grand Teton National Park hit a single-year record last week.
The Casper Star-Tribune reports that park officials aren’t sure yet why there were so many rescues this year.
The record was eclipsed Aug. 20 when climber Lauren McLean of Lake Oswego, Ore., became the 31st major rescue since the park’s fiscal year began Oct. 1. McLean fell 20 to 30 feet because her belay system failed.
The busy year started right away for the Jenny Lake Climbing Rangers. Twelve major rescues were performed during the winter and early spring months.
Full-time ranger Chris Harder told the newspaper rangers normally perform three to four major rescues during the winter.
BACKPACKING — Glacier National Park officials breathed a sigh of relief this week after an aerial search fairly quickly turned up an overdue backpacker who'd set out on an overambitious spring itinerary.
But after returning the Helena man safely to civilization, ark officials issued a press release making it clear they are not impressed with people who set out on solo adventures that have a high probability of putting rescuers in harm's way.
Read on for the details.
NATIONAL PARKS — Search and rescue operations are costing Grand Teton National Park millions of dollars topped by last month's $115,000 search for missing backcountry skiers.
In 2009, the last year figures were available, the National Park Service spent about $5 million performing search and rescue operations. The recent search for Walker Kuhl of Utah and Gregory Seftick of Montana, who went missing on a backcountry ski trip, cost the park $115,000, nearly double of any previous search and rescue operation.
The debate over who should pay for such operations increases along with the costs, according to this story on Wyofile.com.