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SNOHAWK1 Rescues Pacific Crest Trail Hiker from Germany


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  October 31, 2018


CONTACTS: Courtney O’Keefe, Communications Specialist, Snohomish County Sheriff’s OfficeCourtney.O’Keefe@snoco.org, 425-388-3865, Media line: 425-249-6263


SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. - At approximately 1 p.m. on Monday, the Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue team responded to the Pacific Crest Trail to search for a 34 year-old hiker from Germany who was ill-equipped for the winter weather storm in the mountains. After 1.5 hours of flight time, she was located by SNOHAWK1 off the PCT trail near Mica Lake. She was wet, cold and showed signs of hypothermia when SAR reached her.  SNOHAWK1 transported her back to Taylor’s Landing where she was evaluated by aid.

The 34 year-old female hiker from Germany left on a solo hike of the PCT during May. Last Monday, October 22, she met an avid hiker and resident of Sultan who gave her a ride to Stevens Pass and tried to talk her out of traveling north so late in the year, but the 34 year-old hiker believed she was equipped for the weather. A week later, on October 29, the resident from Sultan called 911 to report the PCT hiker she met was likely in danger due to the extreme winter weather conditions and dropping temperatures. 

SNOHAWK1 responded to the approximate area and located tracks in the snow near the PCT. After multiple unsuccessful attempts to safely land the helicopter in the terrain, one of the pilots jumped out of the helicopter and stacked several logs to create a level platform to land on. The female hiker was located about 50 yards from where the helicopter landed. Her shelter had blown away, she lost her gloves, and was soaking wet with very limited food left. She did not have a locator beacon and had attempted to call for help the day prior, but had no cell service.

Just after 3 p.m., SNOHAWK1 transported the 34 year-old hiker to Taylor’s Landing where she was treated by aid.

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Picture 1: Chief Pilot Quistorf, Nancy Abell, Katharina Groene, Pilot Espeland

Picture 2: SNOHAWK1 located tracks in the snow on the Pacific Crest Trail at 5500 ft. elevation.

PCT 1

PCT 2