MT. ADAMS A teenager was rescued from the mountain Wednesday after becoming separated from his family while on a hike.
According to the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Randy Briscoe, the agency’s search and rescue team was notified about 4 p.m. that a 16-year-old boy was missing on the mountain.
“The call came in around 16:00 (4 p.m.) from a party informing us that the missing juvenile was hiking with his mother and his friend on Mount Adams,” Briscoe said. “The three had started the climb in the early morning hours, around midnight, and had made it to a section of the mountain called ‘Lunch Counter.’”
There, the trio rested for a couple hours before pushing on toward Pikers Peak, commonly known as the “false summit.”
“About half way up this steeper section, the mother began experiencing altitude sickness and informed her son and his friend she was turning around,” Briscoe said. “The two juveniles continued on. They were last seen around 13:30 (1:30 p.m. Wednesday).”
When the teenagers didn’t return, the mother stopped another climber and asked them to contact the Sheriff’s Office for assistance as her cellphone battery had died, he said.
“During the phone call, it was discovered that her son has several medical conditions that would require medical attention and that neither of the two juveniles had food, water or gear to spend the night,” he said.
The Sheriff’s Office dispatched it’s Central Washington Mountain Rescue and other search and rescue teams.
Later, one of the missing teenagers walked out, saying he, too, was suffering from altitude sickness and had turned around.
But the missing teenager continued toward the summit.
As night fell, the Yakima Training Center called in the U.S. Air Ambulance Detachment’s “Yakima Dustoff” team to use infrared equipment to locate the missing teenager.
At about 10 p.m., the team located a heat signal on the mountain, Briscoe said. The crew of the Blackhawk helicopter also reported seeing a flashlight.
The Yakima Dustoff rescue team lowered a paramedic to the ground, where he treated the missing teenager for hypothermia.
“His body temp was 93.7 (degrees),” Briscoe said. “With hypothermia beginning, the youth was transported to Yakima Memorial hospital, where he was warmed and later reunited with his mother and friend.”