October 2017

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My Mountain Rescue

October 30, 2017

  Along with three friends, all of us but one, retired physicians, I hiked into the Enchantments via the Snow Creek route where we spent the night at one of the lower lakes in the area. We awoke to a beautiful morning and decided to hike up Little Annapurna, choosing a route off trail which appeared to be an easy hike. As we walked along, boulder to boulder, I misjudged a step onto a rock in a shadow, made even darker by the sunglasses I was wearing. The rock had more of an angle than I realized and was still wet from the morning dew. I fell forward with my left leg completely extended, catching it on a rock about a foot below. I felt a pop, and it was then, that I knew I wasn’t walking out of there. At this point the pain was manageable but I couldn’t bend my leg. We all had two bars on our cell phones but we couldn’t call out. Peter took all the cell phones and hiked to the ridge top for better reception. In the meantime, Gary hiked back to camp and brought my equipment up in case we had to […]

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Our New Food Truck

  In late 2016 we came to the conclusion that our aging food truck wasn’t going to last much longer. Our volunteers depend on the food truck when we are out on long missions – there is nothing better than coming off the mountain cold and wet and having a warm meal ready! Once we figured out what a replacement was going to cost we started our fundraising efforts. And thanks to many of you the new truck will soon be operational! A big boost came when Taco Time Northwest donated a Food Truck body that we could rework and reconfigure for our needs. That was followed by many generous donations from individuals in the community. Grant support has also been a vital component and we are grateful to the Tulalip Tribes Charitable Contribution Funds Program and The Leland J. and Dorothy H. Olson Charitable Foundation for their significant contributions to making the truck a reality. By the time we send out our next newsletter, the truck should be fully operational. Stay tuned for pictures when it is all done!

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Meet Our Swiftwater Rescue Team

Among our other technical rescue specialties, SAR has a dedicated team that is trained and equipped to perform searches and rescues in our hazardous water environments. Waterways in Snohomish County are scenic destinations that offer excellent recreation opportunity, and are critical to the environment. But water features can be as dangerous as they are magnificent. The Snohomish County SAR Swiftwater Rescue Team is trained and equipped to accomplish search missions and conduct rescue missions in, around and under our area waterways: • Puget Sound shoreline and tidal areas • Arterial river systems (locally Skykomish, Snohomish, Stillaguamish & Sauk) • Dozens of large and hundreds of smaller tributaries • Frontcountry and backcountry lakes in their hundreds • Technical watercourse/waterfall terrain (typically involving rope access & transport) Like other elements of Search & Rescue, Swiftwater Rescue is on call 24/7. The Swiftwater Rescue Team is made up entirely of volunteers who dedicate considerable time and effort to being well trained and equipped so that we can perform our rescue mission when called upon to help others in our community. In addition, our team is a critical component of area emergency response during flood conditions. The nature of water rescue is that we […]

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Fall 2017 – President’s Letter

Randy Fay, Snohomish County Volunteer Search and Rescue President While we are still actively engaged in the 2017 rescue season, I have been reflecting on the year to date. We started off at a frantic pace as the late snow melt created problems for climbers and hikers anxious to get into the mountains and this resulted in many rescues. From mid-season until now we have had an unsettling number of tragedies to deal with in water related accidents. Now we face the transition into our Fall and Winter outdoor activities seasons. Time for all of us to lay out our gear and start advanced planning related to the hazards and challenges that the colder weather will bring to the surface. It is more important than ever to carry your 10 essentials plus. Hypothermia is our greatest enemy in the cold and wet weather of the northwest and is a strong contributor to having a worse outcome in an emergency. Please plan carefully and prudently. SCVSAR will be well prepared to help should you encounter unexpected difficulties. Our teams are constantly training for the challenges that each season brings. Enjoy the Fall season in the mountains and stay safe.

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