Category: Survival

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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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When should you call 911 for Search and Rescue? What happens when you do?

January 25, 2017

  Whether you consider yourself a hard-core outdoor enthusiast or just an occasional backcountry explorer, learn more about when you should call Search and Rescue, what information you should provide, how long a typical response takes, and more.   QUESTION: How do I call Search and Rescue? ANSWER: The only way to get in touch with Search and Rescue in Snohomish County is to call 911. The initial call may be handled by King County, Washington State Patrol or other dispatch agencies depending on where you are. Explain the nature of your emergency and, if you are in the backcountry, where you are and the trailhead you accessed. 911 will need this information in case you need to get transferred to SNOPAC for the Snohomish County Sheriff. They will have someone from Search and Rescue call you. QUESTION: What if I don’t have cell service? ANSWER: You can try texting 911 regardless of if you have cellular phone services available at your location. You may be instructed to turn off the phone to conserve battery life, and turn it on at scheduled intervals to text 911 and update them on the patient’s status. (Click here for more information about Text […]

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The Rescue – Fall 2016

November 29, 2016

“Three Teens Trapped on Three Fingers Mountain” the news read back on Tuesday evening through Wednesday evening, August 26-27, 2008. Those were the “best-worst days” of our lives, since one of those teens was ours (and another we had custody for). My wife, Heidi, mother-in-law, Cheri, and I first discovered that the boys’ overnight adventure had turned terribly bad when we heard the report on the late night TV news. Assuming it was our boys who were trapped, we drove to the Green Mountain Forest Service Road (RD 41) off the Mountain Loop Highway, where the Sheriff’s Deputy confirmed our worst fears and allowed us access up the road all the way to the trailhead (today that road is blocked miles from the trailhead). The weather had changed significantly, and the boys were trapped in a storm at the 6,300 foot level not far from the 6,854 ft. summit… read more in the latest copy of The Rescue – Fall 2016!

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