Hiker stays moving to survive lost night on Rattlesnake Ridge

A hiker got lost overnight on Rattlesnake Ledge near North Bend last week, and managed to survive the night by staying on his feet.

According to a report from the King County Sheriff’s Office, would-be rescuers from Seattle Mountain Rescue, King County’s 4X4 and Explorer Search and Rescue teams, plus search dogs, the sheriff’s helicopter and a small plane, all combed the wet ridge late last Tuesday and early Wednesday, Feb. 25 and 26, after the young man went missing some time before 9 p.m.

The hiker had separated himself from a group of five friends, hiking the main Rattlesnake route, then took a spur trail. His fellow hikers waited for him at the ledge, but he never appeared. After checking the parking lot, to no avail, they called for help.

Searchers with Seattle Mountain Rescue found the spur trail, and searched into the early hours of Wednesday, but couldn’t find him that night.

The hiker was found that morning by a maintenance crew of the Cedar River Watershed, who were driving on a back road.

He had hiked above the rock ledges, and got lost on the back roads. The man managed to keep warm during the night by constantly walking.

“He was tired, cold, hungry and missing a shoe,” reported Sheriff’s Spokeswoman Sgt. Cindi West. “Other than that he was in good health.  Despite having none of the ‘10 Essentials’ with him, he kept his wits about him and didn’t panic.”

The 10 Essentials

The 10 essentials to bring along for hiking and outdoor activities, as shared by King County Search and Rescue, include:

• Insulation (extra layers of clothing plus a hat)

• Emergency shelter (a small tarp or tent with ropes is adequate)

• Hydration (extra water)

• Illumination (flashlight and extra batteries)

• Navigation (a map and compass, or a GPS)

• Fire (waterproof matches and fire starter)

• First-aid supplies (bandages, daily medications, etc)

• Repair kit and tools (knife or multi-tool and duct tape)

• Nutrition (food)

• Sun protection (sunglasses and sunscreen)


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