its winter time ... be prepared, it can happen to anyone
Four snowshoers found near Snoqualmie Pass
Four snowshoers who got lost Sunday along a trail at Gold Creek Sno-Park were rescued Monday.
Sandie Davis' first trip on snowshoes didn't exactly go the way she expected.
She and three more experienced women, one a friend, the second an acquaintance, the third a woman she'd just met, started snowshoeing along a trail at Gold Creek Sno-Park at about noon Sunday. Guided by a compass, they ventured off the trail and soon got lost.
After the women called for help on a cellphone, volunteer search teams spent all Sunday evening and Monday morning searching for them and finally rescued them Monday afternoon.
"We were highly confident throughout our afternoon in terms of how we would get back to the car," Davis, a 51-year-old West Seattle resident, said. "But we were wrong, and we got very lost."
About 4 p.m. Sunday, it was getting dark and the women grew worried, Davis said.
Her companion, Marynell Matt of Vashon, called 911 on her cellphone to report that she and her party had left the main trail and were lost, according to deputies.
Kittitas County Sheriff's Deputy Mark McBride was able to maintain cellphone contact with Matt, according to police, and worked with her cellphone provider to narrow the search area. Searchers also used snowmobiles to locate the women, according to police.
When they started out, the women weren't worried about the weather, Davis said. They'd read before their trip that a snow front wouldn't come in until Tuesday. However, that front came a day early, according to the Kittitas County Sheriff's Office. Searchers called the group to say they'd have to call off the search and resume it at 6:30 Monday morning.
Seven inches of snow fell Sunday night, according to the sheriff's office.
"We certainly had some stuff with us" — food, water and fully charged cellphones that they took turns using to call the search teams — "but we had no intention of staying the night," Davis said.
The group spent the night on top of a tarp and underneath mylar blankets, cozying up to one woman's dog for warmth. They dug out a small track where they walked back and forth to keep their circulation going, she said.
"We know we were lucky to be alive" at the end of the night, Davis said. "It was important to us to not bring the fear into the mix of it — we just stayed optimistic."
When the four were finally found, they were several miles off the trail, according to Kittitas County Undersheriff Clayton Meyer. None was harmed, but all were eager to get home and warm up, Davis said.
The snowshoe novice said she has a newfound appreciation for the volunteer rescue teams — and for marked trails.
She said she learned several lessons she'll apply to her next snowshoeing foray: "Don't go off the trail. Be prepared for more than you expect. Keep a level head to foster a positive experience. And, if you want to stay warm, don't eat the snow!"
Glacier National Park
Three Men Rescued After Overnight Stay On Mt. Brown
Three men who were stranded overnight on Mt. Brown on Sunday night made it off the mountain yesterday morning and are all in excellent condition. On Sunday, 18-year-old Dan House, 18-year-old James McCarthy, and 20-year-old Justin Newton, all from Kalispell, Montana, attempted to reach the fire lookout on Mt. Brown, which is located northeast of the head of Lake McDonald. The three men started out on snowshoes at about 11 a.m., planning to ski down before dusk, but ran out of light before they could get off the mountain. Around 6:30 p.m., one of the men was able to reach a family member via cell phone and report that they were stranded. The family member notified Flathead County dispatch about an hour later. The men were not able to provide an accurate location, so rangers and members of the volunteer Flathead County Search and Rescue team started searching for them around 9 p.m. Visibility was very limited due to wind and snow. Searchers covered high probability areas, scanned for signs of fire, and used whistles to try to locate the men. Ranger and search and rescue volunteers spent the entire night looking for them, but without luck. In the early morning hours on Monday, a ranger sent a text message to one of the men, asking him to call 911. The man did so, thereby making it possible for Flathead County dispatch to get a latitude and longitude pinpointing their location. The men reported that they had been able to make a fire, shelter in place, and were doing well. With an exact location, a group from the Flathead Nordic Ski Patrol and an NPS employee headed up to meet them. At 10:30 a.m., the ski patrol made contact and found that all three men were in excellent condition. Everyone was off the mountain by 11 a.m. Ranger Gary Moses was IC.