Help Seattle Mountain Rescue Fund a New Mountain Center in North Bend

On May 1st of last year, a group of college-age students took a hike to Rattlesnake Ledge, a popular local hike with views of the Seattle Watershed and Snoqualmie Valley.

One of the hikers had moved down the wet ledge for a closer look, then slipped and began to fall.

Fortunately, they could grab some branches and stop themselves on a rock ledge about 30ft down from the top and avoid plummeting off the cliff. Slowly they managed to get themselves into a more secure position, and fellow hikers called 911.

Luckily for this hiker, Seattle Watershed Staff, Explorer Search and Rescue (ESAR), King County’s ground search and rescue unit, and Seattle Mountain Rescue (SMR) were all able and ready to come to their aid on that Saturday morning.

SMR members were working nearby on the new Mountain Rescue Center (MRC) in North Bend and quickly put down their hammers to head into the mountains to assist. A member was lowered over the edge to provide the hiker with a harness, secure them with a rope and help them get back to safe ground.

Once back on solid ground, an EMT from the ESAR team evaluated the hiker for injuries, and everybody was able to walk down together. Many people from the mission headed home. But SMR headed back to continue working on the building renovation.

According to their annual report, the all-volunteer crew of SMR responded to eighty-seven missions in 2021, with twenty of those missions being on local Snoqualmie Valley Trails.

Every year we need their help to keep our local hiking trails safe, and now they need our help to finish building their MRC.

Incorporated in 1948, Seattle Mountain Rescue is a volunteer organization of seasoned alpinists dedicated to saving lives through search, rescue, and mountain safety education. It specializes in mountainous terrain searches and high-angle rescues, primarily in King County, Washington. It is a fully accredited member of the Mountain Rescue Association and the King County Search and Rescue Association.[1]

Located within minutes of many of our local trailheads, the rescue center was a building abandoned for many years that needed a lot of work. It had no working power, water or septic. A large portion of the roof was missing; the walls were collapsing. 

As of Feb 2022, they’ve demolished the interior walls, put a new roof on, removed all the old wall insulation/plumbing/wiring, built sheer walls for support, put new plywood on the outside and sealed it, saw cut the concrete and pouring new footing for the shear walls, and installed new windows and a garage door.

All done by “our amazing members who have graciously donated their hard work and time.”

According to their website, the new MRC will “will enable us to; maintain and centralize our rescue equipment, provide a consistent training area for field members, help build the teams collective resilience by providing a new space and way to connect and build comradery helping us weather the hard things we do together and provide a community classroom to perform mountain safety education in conjunction with our partner organizations.”

So far, through state funding and private donors, they’ve secured about 90% of what they need to finish their project.

Since its inception, this organization has been without a home. We have seen much population growth in our area, and with that growth comes a greater need for this organization’s services. The Mountain Rescues Center (MRC) will help them, help us. 

To support Seattle Mountain Rescue and aid them in closing their gap in funding, visit their building fund page here. Even if you aren’t a mountain hiker, you likely know one or have a family member who is and who very well may need their help in the future.

[1] Seattle Mountain Rescue

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