UPDATE | February 28, 2016, 9PM
KCSAR Public Information volunteer Alan LaBissoniere said search teams were able to remove a seriously injured hiker from Mount Si around 8:15PM – about nine hours after falling about 25 feet while climbing the rocky haystack at the mountain’s summit.
LaBissoniere said the man suffered “very serious injuries” that were not life-threatening, including a possible broken back. He was apparently getting his photo taken in the windy and wet conditions when he slipped and fell backward off the haystack onto a ledge below. The man was transported to Harborview Medical Center.
Four SAR first responders were members of Seattle Mountain Rescue, who just happened to be out hiking together – one doctor and three EMT’s. They helped stabilize the victim until other SAR members could hike to the location for the carry out mission.
40 volunteers responded for the mission. LaBissoniere said crews were very tired, soaked and hungry after the long mission in stormy weather conditions.
On Sunday, February 28, 2016 around 12PM, King County Search and Rescue, along with Seattle Mountain Rescue, responded to Mount Si to help a seriously injured hiker.
KCSAR Public Information volunteer Alan LaBissoniere said a 41-year old man climbed to the top of the Haystack atop Mount Si and apparently fell off, possibly breaking his back and suffering other serious injuries.
The rocky haystack is about 200-feet tall and hikers often climb it. It has a scramble path to its summit, but the route is described as “tricky, with a lot of exposure.”
Members of Seattle Mountain Rescue happened to be at Mount Si on Sunday doing a planned hike so were quickly able to respond to the injured man.
As of 3PM, 40 SAR crew members were hiking in to assist SMR crews already with the man. Mission coordinators are planning a long litter carry out of the badly injured man, which is expected to take at least seven hours according to LaBissoniere
Due to weather conditions, it was anticipated that a King County Sheriff’s Office Guardian helicopter wouldn’t be utilized to hoist the hiker off of the mountain.
KCSO Sgt. Cindi West said the helicopter was on standby, though, in case there was a break in the weather – and around 2:15PM Guardian 2 attempted to make the trip, but due to winds of around 40mph, was unable to make it out to Mount Si.
More information will be added as it becomes available.