Subject: Man Trackers

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What were you doing on Mother’s Day 2016?

April 13, 2017

On a mild Saturday afternoon in May of 2016, a group of teens embarked on a day-hike to Blanca Lake, in the remote Cascade Mountains.  As they hiked up the steep trail they had no way of knowing that one of them would soon be lost and in peril. They had no way of knowing that their plans would dramatically alter the Mother’s Day plans of Search and Rescue volunteers from across seven counties. They had no way of knowing how many strangers would sacrifice their time to search hazardous mountain terrain for someone they had never met. As the teens worked their way up the arduous trail, they encountered snow above 3000 feet, making the trail slippery and hard to follow.  Soon, one member of the group, an 18 year old female, decided she did not want to continue.  She informed her friends that she would hike back down alone and meet them at the trailhead. Late in the afternoon, when the group returned to the trail head their friend was not there.  After waiting some time and trying to find her they called 911 at 9PM that night.  Local Sheriff Deputies responded and were unable to reach her […]

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SCVSAR Man Tracking Team

October 19, 2016

Man Tracking Team

The Snohomish County Tracker Team is composed of volunteers and law enforcement personnel who are dedicated and highly trained to perform urban and wilderness search and rescue operations and assist with crime scene investigations in Snohomish County, Washington. In partnership with other elements of Snohomish County Volunteer Search and Rescue, the Tracker Team is on call 24/7 to assist the community under the authority of the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office. Living beings moving through an environment leave evidence of their passage, known to trackers as Sign. Tracking is the art and science of identifying and interpreting sign.   Identifying: Trackers find evidence of the subject’s passage through terrain first by finding the sign, then by determining whether the sign was made by the subject, another human, or by natural causes such as animals or weather. This skill only comes about through extensive training and experience.   Interpreting: Once the subject’s sign is identified, additional value is gained by determining where the subject was going, what the subject was doing, and how long ago the sign was made.

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