Three back-to-back rescue missions on Christmas Day: one struck by falling ice, two lost on the mountain

On Wednesday, December 28, 2016 the King County Sheriff’s Office revealed while many of us were home enjoying Christmas Day, more than 50 King County Search and Rescue (KCSAR) volunteers spent much of the trudging through snow and water to help hikers in popular Snoqualmie Valley hiking spots.

KCSAR received the first call around 2PM near Rattlesnake Ledge Trail when a man became separated from his hiking group and didn’t show up at the summit. 19 SAR members showed up for the search. Luckily, the man was found hiking down the trail as the rescue teams were headed up to look for him.

The second Christmas call came in during the first Rattlesnake incident. Three Search and Rescue members were testing a new snow vehicle (a 1972 PinzGauer privately owned by a SAR member) when they were flagged down and told a hiker had been injured by falling ice near Franklin Falls. Those SAR members hiked to the falls, waded through the water and contacted the victim, who had sustained a hip injury from the falling ice.

SAR volunteers help injured hiker adjacent Franklin Falls. The man was struck by falling ice on Christmas Day

The King County Sheriff’s Office said more than 30 members responded to help carry the injured hiker through the stream and down to a rescue vehicle for transport to a waiting ambulance. The new snow vehicle that was being tested came in very handy – being used to shuttle rescue members up the road as close to the falls as possible.

Then a third Christmas rescue call came in during the Franklin Falls mission – for man who had been hiking the Mount Si Trail and become lost on his way down the mountain. When it became dark and he could not find the trail he called 911. 14 Search and Rescue members responded to find him and bring him down safely.

KCSO praised their volunteer Search and Rescue members, saying they make a huge difference in our community – using their own vehicles, equipment, time and money for the benefit of others.   Via press release the KCSO said these volunteers “are a gift that keeps on giving!”

1972 PinzGauer owned by a SAR volunteer and used to assist in Franklin Falls rescue mission on Christmas Day

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