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Busy Week for Search & Rescue

Posted by Andrew Engelson at Aug 29, 2008 11:00 AM |

I just returned from a backpacking trip to Cape Alava on the Olympic wilderness coast to find out it's been a tough week for search and rescue in the mountains. A hiker died Thursday after a fall from the "Haystack" on Mount Si. In addition, two hikers were trapped on a ledge on the Ptarmigan Traverse, but news reports this morning indicated a search and rescue team has reached them. And three teens were rescued from Three Fingers Mountain earlier this week after nearly succumbing to hypothermia.

The 27-year-old hiker who died on Mount Si--one of the most popular day hikes in the I-90 corridor near North Bend--fell while trying to climb the "Haystack," a rugged knob above the lookout point at the end of the Mount Si Trail. According to KING-5 News, conditions on the Haystack were wet and slippery. The Haystack is a dangerous climb, and hikers are advised to satisfy themselves with attaining the viewpoint at the end of the trail.

As we head into Labor Day weekend, please take some time to prepare before you go on a hike. Read this brief article on packing "extra caution" before you hike. Hiking is a safe and fun activity, provided that you prepare ahead and use some common sense. Specifically, check trail conditions beforehand: call ranger stations and check trip reports on the trail you plan to hike. Always let someone know where you are going, and when you plan to return. Always--on any hike--pack the 10 essentials. Keep a close watch on weather forecasts.
And use common sense. If conditions seem beyond your skill level, turn around. If you encounter snow and lose the trail, turn around. If the weather takes a turn for the worse, turn around.

Have a fun Labor Day weekend, but let's be safe out there.

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