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Rescue on Three Fingers

October 11, 2021

Last night and into this morning, Snohomish County Volunteer Search and Rescue (SCVSAR) Units and Teams, with help from SAR Teams from other counties, successfully completed a difficult rescue in harsh weather conditions. Below is the press release from the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office with all the details. This is the second rescue on Three Fingers this year

“SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – The Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue (SAR) Unit and volunteers from Snohomish County Volunteer Search and Rescue (SCVSAR) completed a 20-hour overnight rescue mission on Three Fingers Mountain. Around 11 a.m. on Sunday, SAR received an InReach Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) SOS activation near 6,800 feet on Three Fingers Mountain. Two hikers were stranded due to a strong weather system that caused whiteout conditions and heavy snow, making the trail too treacherous for them to continue climbing down.

It would take ground teams approximately 12 hours to hike up the trail, so SnoHawk10 was launched with two pilots, one crew chief, and two helicopter rescue technicians to attempt to insert ground crews to a higher elevation on the mountain side. Due to weather conditions causing low visibility, the flight mission was cancelled and the helicopter returned to Taylor’s Landing. Teams checked the forecast again and were on standby while they waited for the weather to clear. The helicopter launched again at 4:30 p.m. and was able to insert the Helicopter Rescue Team at 4,900 feet elevation.

SnoHawk10 then flew to the Verlot landing zone and picked up members of the Everett Mountain Rescue Unit (EMRU). They attempted to fly them to the same insertion point, however due to worsening weather conditions, the ERMU members were inserted lower on the mountain at approximately 3,500 feet elevation.

The ground teams hiked for several hours into the night through hazardous conditions and heavy snowfall. Ground teams were able to locate the two hikers and safely assisted them navigating the hazardous conditions and getting off the mountain.

The rescue operation lasted from around 11 a.m. on Sunday until 7 a.m. Monday morning. Assistance was provided by Snohomish County Volunteer Search and Rescue, Everett Mountain Rescue Unit, Helicopter Rescue Team, Operation Support Unit, SCVSAR 4×4 Team, Seattle Mountain Rescue and Olympic Mountain Rescue.

The road conditions in this area are deteriorating and it is currently only accessible by 4×4. The Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Unit recommends people wait until next year to complete this hike and check weather conditions before leaving. In the event of an injury or emergency on the mountain, it is estimated to take rescue crews at least a day to be able to access the location due to the current conditions.”

SCVSAR is always looking for new volunteers. If you are interested in joining the team, check out for details. SCVSAR is a non-profit 501(c)(3), serving all of Snohomish County and its 830,000+ residents. Every member of SCVSAR is an unpaid volunteer. If you are interested in donating, check out for details.