Hiker ‘lucky to be alive’ after falling off Rattlesnake Ledge in the dark

Eastside Fire & Rescue was called to Rattlesnake Ledge Friday night, July 20, 2018 to help an injured hiker who fell 30-40 feet off of the east facing summit ledge.

The call came in around 10:45PM and acccording to EF&R Captain Pete Brummel, the injured man in his 30’s is lucky to be alive. Brummel explained that the man fell from the summit onto another small ledge and had he landed 10-15 feet farther, he likely would’ve missed the secondary ledge and fallen 1000 feet to his death.

King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) Guardian 1 helicopter was immediately called in to help locate the man, who Brummel daid did not have a flashlight and was unprepared for a late night hike. Crews could not see or hear him to pinpoint his location.

Guardian 1’s infrared equipment located the injured man within five minutes and directed EF&R crews to him.  Firefighters climbed down the rock face and were able to attach riggings and hoist the man out to Bellevue Medics and King County SAR crews who then carried the injured man down the trail to a waiting ambulance. Unfortunately the area was too narrow to utilize a helicopter hoist rescue.

Captain Brummel said the rescue operation was flawlessly executed, saying even though it was a long mission, “it was a very fluid operation.”

Approximately 20 King County volunteer SAR members responded to the overnight mission, which lasted until 5:30AM, July 21st.

Brummel said the hiker suffered significant trauma to his legs and back during the fall.

The King County Sheriff’s Office released a video showing how they located the injured hiker:


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