Bear Encounter on Mount Si leads to Lost Hikers; Search and Rescue, Fish and Wildlife Respond

King County Search and Rescue (KCSAR) Public Information volunteer Alan LaBissoniere said search crews, along with the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), responded to Mount Si in North Bend Friday morning, March 18, 2016 to locate hikers who became lost after encountering bears.

King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) Sgt Cindi West said around 10:30AM they received a call from four females who became lost on the mountain after running from two bears they encountered while hiking.

Sgt. West said the women ran into what appeared to be a mother bear and a yearling, became frightened and ran deep into the woods – and became lost.  She stated that the women reported the bears followed them, which caused them to run farther off of the trail.

SAR crews used a cell phone GPS signal to locate the women, hiked in and escorted them off of the mountain around 3PM.

WDFW also responded to Mount Si as bears were involved in the incident, but what their response will be regarding the animals is unknown at this time. West said it was not clear if the bears were just following the women because they ran –  or actually chasing them.

In a TV news interview after they were rescued, the four girls who had hiked to see the sunrise after finishing their college finals, said they had originally left the trail to avoid some icy areas, and that was when they ran into the bears.



mount si


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  • Wait. If SAR has a GPS signal for the women’s phone, then they have a GPS signal for their own mapping application.

    1. True, though that wouldn’t necessarily help them find their way back. If you don’t have a cell signal Google maps won’t be able to load a map to show you where you are. All you’ll get are the coordinates from your phone.Even if it does, it’s not much help in the back country away from roads our other landmarks.

      That said, it does seem that these folks made their situation worse even before the bear showed up on the scene.

  • How about being prepared and educated?….empty the day packs off the trail, then head back down the trail. Always carry personal protection say pepper spray, hiking stick/poles. Don’t aggravate the bears and get to safety. Common sense and awareness goes a long way. Yep, we have bears, coyotes, bobcats, elk, deer, (even mountain lion) out here all the time, heck they live out here……Oh Ya, weirdos too. So be safe. Soooo looking forward to the new planned expanded parking area….more drama. Thanks.

    1. Yogi, down boy! We have to organize and get the Dept of Fish and Game to remove ALL these threatening creatures so we can listen to our tunes, and drag our cute little puppies up to the top of your mountain and take selfies with them. By the way who picks up the puppy poopie bags we leave along the trail? There sure are a lot of them right now. Also you need to get those old geezers who pick up our plastic water bottles and trash to make the hike more often. Also we need more parking!

  • How do you get lost on a mountain where you can hear I-90 to the South most of the way to the top, where if you just go downhill, you will run into houses? Maybe LOST is a relative term…Anyhow it is nice that we have the King County Search and Rescue to bring us out to safety and do so quickly. It is also nice to hear that the mother bear is taking her cub up on the mountain instead of just training her young to lay around and eat out of the local’s garbage cans.

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