A hiker who spent more than three days lost in a snowy area west of Stevens Pass says he nearly gave up hope of being found alive.
Charles F. Hill had little to keep him warm and even less to eat.
“All I ate was snow and drank out of creeks,” the 35-year-old Marysville man said by telephone from his hospital bed Friday afternoon.
Hill was found by searchers about 11 a.m. Friday in the Scenic Creek Drainage area, about two miles from the hot springs where he had been headed.
He was flown out by helicopter and taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, suffering from hypothermia and exposure.
Hospital spokesman Larry Zalin aid Hill was in satisfactory condition.
“He’s doing pretty well. Our main concern is the frostbite to his feet and we’re treating that,” Zalin said.
Hill and four friends stared hiking to the hot springs east of Skykomish late Monday. Hill went on ahead down the trail.
“I turned around and they weren’t there and I started going in circles looking for them,” Hill said.
When the friends arrived at the hot springs Tuesday morning, Hill was missing. They didn’t report his disappearance, however, until early Wednesday morning.
Hill was wearing only jeans, a T-shirt, a denim jacket and Army boots against below-freezing temperatures.For now, Hill is grateful to the rescuers, his family and friends and to be resting.”I have no hiking trips planned in the near future,” Hill said.