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Hikers in trouble on Pacific Crest Trail
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David Olsen
(oware)

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Hikers in trouble on Pacific Crest Trail on 10/01/2013 18:13:02 MDT Print View

http://blogs.seattletimes.com/today/2013/10/hikers-in-trouble-on-pacific-crest-trail/

"STEVENSON, Skamania County — Three hikers who have walked from Mexico on the Pacific Coast Trail are in trouble after hitting snow in Southwest Washington.

The Skamania County sheriff’s office says it has two search-and-rescue operations under way for the three trail hikers who needed help Monday, plus another search for a Portland hiker who has been missing since Saturday.

The sheriff’s office says searchers have cell phone contact with Matt Margiotta and Kyla Arnold and a crew is headed to their location.

The sheriff’s office says it is trying to locate Alejandre Wilson, who was reported overdue by her father on the trail to Canada.

And the search continues for the 31-year-old Portland man, Kristopher Zitzewitz, who became separated Saturday from his partner in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest."

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
Re: Hikers in trouble on Pacific Crest Trail on 10/01/2013 20:24:29 MDT Print View

Weather got nasty in the mountains. I ran into a pct hiker in seattle Friday night. He was switching out gear and hoping to get back on Sunday. I hope he waited another day or two at least.

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Hikers in trouble on Pacific Crest Trail on 10/01/2013 21:52:36 MDT Print View

Looks like a helicopter was able to get to Matt Margiotta and Kyla Arnold:

http://blogs.seattletimes.com/today/2013/10/2-hikers-trapped-by-snow-rescued-from-pacific-crest-trail-2-still-missing/

Edward Jursek
(nedjursek@gmail.com) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Hikers on 10/02/2013 14:35:13 MDT Print View

The weather here in the North Cascades is still pretty rough. Lots of snow at Stevens Pass, which is at a pretty low elevation. It seems late in the season to be at Snoqualmie Pass or further South and still trying to make it to Canada. I am hoping to just get another 3 day hike in before mid-October. Fall came very quick this year. I wish them luck.....

Edited by nedjursek@gmail.com on 10/02/2013 20:37:59 MDT.

John McAlpine
(HairlessApe) - M

Locale: PNW
Any additional news? on 10/04/2013 13:17:08 MDT Print View

I was just surfing the net and couldn't find any recent articles if they found the two miising hikers. It's sad she continued on even though she knew it was not safe. The gentleman they have simply not heard from him.

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: missing hikers on 10/04/2013 13:47:12 MDT Print View

The most recent article I saw this morning reported that the searchers felt the missing PCTer would turn up. I don't remember anything in the article to show why they believed this. I'm guessing her skill set and carried gear. The man who was looking for caves to explore has not been found. His disappearance seems to be grouped with the PCT hikers, missing or rescued, because of timing and general location but my understanding is that he was merely day hiking/exploring the area and not prepared to spend the night out, especially with the snow and cold we got in the PNW last week.

Edward Jursek
(nedjursek@gmail.com) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Hikers on 10/04/2013 14:12:11 MDT Print View

Seattle public radio, KUOW, reported two missing PCT hikers were rescued by helicopter Tuesday evening. They report 1 still missing. They also report a group of 15 PCT hikers are holed up near Stevens Pass at a trail angle's house still hoping to make it to Canada.....

Elizabeth Tracy
(mariposa) - M

Locale: Outside
found alive on 10/09/2013 01:32:55 MDT Print View

Alejandra Wilson was found alive.

Here is her trail journal with her story, starting with the entry just before she went into the snow:

http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=435078

Elizabeth

John Myers
(dallas) - F - MLife

Locale: North Texas
Re: found alive on 10/09/2013 06:29:24 MDT Print View

That's great news.

Thanks for posting her trail journal. Good reading (since it turned out well for her).

Erik Basil
(EBasil)

Locale: Atzlan
Journal's worth reading on 10/10/2013 09:50:51 MDT Print View

Ditto that, on the journal. Thanks for that link.

Buck Nelson
(Colter) - MLife

Locale: Alaska
Let's hope things turn out as well for other hikers still out there on 10/10/2013 10:17:34 MDT Print View

Here's what Andrea Dinsmore said on the PCT-L. Words from a long time Trail Angel who has watched for years what can happen to late-season PCT hikers:

I believe educating the PCT hikers on what they are really going to get
into up here, not what they hear from friends that came through on a low
snow year. Rose colored glasses don't work in the wilderness. The weather
may change from 60 to 25 and a 3' dump of snow within a few days up here.
After looking at 11 yrs of dealing with hikers between Stevens Pass and
Stehekin it is good hiking weather, warm temps, fresh berries to eat up the
trail and the rivers are low if you hit the [Canada] border by the 15th of Sept.
That's about August 15th or so at Cascade Locks. Some years like this one
and 4 other years I can remember the trail was all but impassible by Sept
25th at Snoqualmie.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
BC conditions on 10/10/2013 11:01:19 MDT Print View

i cant comment on the actual PCT

but up here near vancouver and southern BC ... weve had an EXTREMELY wet season ... basically most of september was one giant rainstorm ...

its also been colder than average IMO especially with the humidity

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Re: Let's hope things turn out as well for other hikers still out there on 10/10/2013 11:28:48 MDT Print View

Here's what Andrea Dinsmore said on the PCT-L. Words from a long time Trail Angel who has watched for years what can happen to late-season PCT hikers:

I believe educating the PCT hikers on what they are really going to get
into up here, not what they hear from friends that came through on a low
snow year. Rose colored glasses don't work in the wilderness. The weather
may change from 60 to 25 and a 3' dump of snow within a few days up here.
After looking at 11 yrs of dealing with hikers between Stevens Pass and
Stehekin it is good hiking weather, warm temps, fresh berries to eat up the
trail and the rivers are low if you hit the [Canada] border by the 15th of Sept.
That's about August 15th or so at Cascade Locks. Some years like this one
and 4 other years I can remember the trail was all but impassible by Sept
25th at Snoqualmie.

Here's the problem. As much as I like Andrea, she as much as told us that if we went north out of Stevens that we would die. This was mid August in '11. To say this was highly alarmist is an understatement. Was there some snow, sure. But having walked hundreds of miles in snow it was no big deal. Her information was also flat out wrong. She said that nobody had been able to make it through yet we had talked with Scott Williamson a week earlier who along with the four NoBo hikers ahead of us had successful made it through. Even when with the fact that Scott made it through, she got a bit upset at us for "not listening to her." Hmm, who to listen to..... A 13 time thru hiker or someone who has never hiked the whole section.

Now having said that, I think most of the issue this year with judgement was caused by folks having a cake walk through the Sierra so they had no clue what hiking in snow means. This same thing happened in '12 where folks flew through the Sierra and hit the PNW early season. They declared that the snow was so bad but it is only due to their lack experience earlier in the hike that caused them to think conditions were so bad. In reality I compared pictures vs. later in the season in '11 and it wasn't that bad. This can all be summed up as experience. And experience would say that walking in feet of fresh snow is exhausting and that waiting a few days would make it easier. But even more important, experience is knowing when to not proceed.

Buck Nelson
(Colter) - MLife

Locale: Alaska
Re: Re: Let's hope things turn out as well for other hikers still out there on 10/10/2013 13:15:05 MDT Print View

Andrea Dinsmore's license plate says PCT MOM on it. Like a typical mom she feels responsible for her "kids," and like most moms she's going to be pretty conservative with her advice. That will often make her "wrong" if judged by "was the conservative choice really necessary this time?" but often right when it comes to "would there have been less SARs this year if everyone had listened?" I think it gives her a different perspective to lay awake at night wondering if somebody she cares about is in trouble. And this year when she called SAR she has been right at least once. I'm going to cut her a huge amount of slack because of all she's done for hikers.

I think her experience with hundreds and hundreds of hikers coming through gives her a better perspective on hike timing than most of us. In my opinion her advice that I quoted is very sound and agrees in spirit with Yogi's advice (also based on hundreds of thru-hike attempts) to be done with the trail by October 1. If more people paid attention to the calendar I think there would be more safe, successful, enjoyable thru-hikes. For anyone who doesn't know, the PCT in Washington tends to get much wetter, rain or snow, as the season progresses. There are certainly going to be people this year who will go home disappointed because they pushed the season too late. I think it's safe to say that it happens every year.

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: Re: Let's hope things turn out as well for other hikers still out there on 10/10/2013 14:05:32 MDT Print View

" They declared that the snow was so bad but it is only due to their lack of experience earlier in the hike that caused them to think conditions were so bad."

This was certainly the reason given by the lady whose blog was referenced above.

Edited by Hitech on 10/10/2013 14:06:17 MDT.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Re: Re: Re: Let's hope things turn out as well for other hikers still out there on 10/10/2013 17:45:52 MDT Print View

Colter,
Great analogy about Andrea being the "worried PCT mom". I emailed a link to the journal linked above to a very experienced thru hiker. His response was "Is that a journal of another hiker getting caught in the snow because they dawdled through the first 2400 miles of the PCT?" It pretty much says it all. I ran into a guy that made it to Harts Pass and was snowed out. I can't imagine being so close to the end yet so far. Maybe next years hikers will target a slightly earlier finish.