November 2022

Return to the blog

President’s Letter

November 22, 2022

2022 has been a “returning to normal” for Search & Rescue, with more in-personmeetings and training occurring, rather than remotely as was the “norm” for 2020and 2021. Motivated volunteers have always been the lifeblood of our organization,and we are always looking for a few good men and women to join us. We also do notcharge for rescues, but we do rely on donations to meet our financial obligations. Volunteering with SCVSAR has been our family’s response to this amazing organization,following the rescue of our son and his friends off Three Fingers Mountain back in What would be your response if your life were saved, or the life of a loved one? SCVSAR volunteers attend monthly meetings with their “home” Unit: Alderwood,Everett Mountain Rescue Unit (EMRU), Explorer (ages 14-18), Marysville, OperationsSupport Unit (OSU), or Snohomish. Anyone with any skills at all, and with the right heartand attitude, can meaningfully support this wonderful organization. We need fieldqualified personnel to go on missions; one of our most common missions is a “packout” of an injured hiker from any one of our very popular trails. We need motivatedfield qualified personnel to be trained for special operations units and teams, such asEMRU (technical & snow […]

Read More

Helicopter Rescue Team (HRT) – Recent Rescue & Team Capabilities

Taylor Isabell, SCVSAR, Snohomish SAR Unit Member On a sunny Monday afternoon in August, Ryan Mueller and his party began to work their way tentatively across a snow and ice field at 5900 feet of elevation on Three Fingers Mountain. It was day two of what was supposed to be a three-day backpacking trip that, so far, had gone almost perfectly. The day before, some light rain had blown through, clearing the mountain air of lingering wildfire smoke, making for breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks. Ryan, leading the group, moved into an exposed area of the snow and ice field and assessed the conditions. A seasoned hiker, backpacker, and climber, having logged some thirty years of experience in the mountains, he made the call that the snow was too slick and the remainder of his party too inexperienced to attempt the summit of Three Fingers that day. As he turned to relay the news to the group, standing over 2000 feet above the valley below, his left foot slid out from under him. The slip sent Ryan tumbling and sliding downhill where, a hundred feet below where he started, he slammed feet-first into exposed rocks, stopping his fall. After […]

Read More

Where the Rope Ends (formerly known as Be Like Water) Film Update

Nichole Doane was rappelling down the 265-foot waterfall at Wallace Falls when she unexpectedly lost control, free-falling 60 feet. It was then up to SCVSAR’s ground teams and Helicopter Rescue Team (HRT) to safely extract her off a dangerous ledge, while providing medical care with limited resources. The in-progress film, Where the Rope Ends, (formerly known as Be Like Water) is a feature-length documentary about Nichole’s accident and recovery, with an element highlighting SCVSAR’s amazing rescue mission. The goal of the film is to grow the search and rescue “fan base” and increase funding for SAR organizations. The film got started after Nichole and Director Baylee Sinner met in yoga teacher training in 2017 in Seattle, Washington, when Nichole was still in a wheelchair, recovering from her extensive injuries. For the past five years, over 50+ professional filmmakers have donated their time and resources to help bring this documentary to life.Prior to rolling out the red carpet for opening night, a heavy focus has been placed on growing the film’s fan base, gaining sponsors, and attaining resources for an impactful launch. A new website ( has been developed, where fans and partners can learn more about the film and potential […]

Read More