Hiker airlifted off Mt. Adams

Second rescue from ‘False Summit’ in less than a week

— A helicopter search and rescue team plucked an injured hiker off Mount Adams shortly after noon Monday.

The 67-year-old hiker was the second rescued from the False Summit area in less than a week.

According to Yakima County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Brian Jackson, a 21-year-old woman called for help at about 12:12 p.m. for her father after he injured his ribs while climbing.

The name of the hiker and his daughter and their hometowns have not yet been released.

“The caller reported they were in the area of the False Summit, also known as Pikers Peak or the Lunch Counter,” Jackson said. “ Cellphone service was limited and YSO was unable to get further information about the exact location or patient updates.”

Search and rescue officials decided to ask for helicopter assistance in locating and extracting the hiker, Jackson said.

“The U.S. military was contacted with the help of the Washington State Office of Emergency Management,” he said. “The U.S. Army Air Ambulance agreed to fly to the mountain to rescue the hiker.”

Civilian helicopters could not be used for the airlift because the injured man was above 10,000 feet, Jackson said.

The Army rescue team picked up members of Central Washington Mountain Rescue en route to locate the hiker.

“The injured hiker was located at about 1520 hours and was flown to Yakima Regional Hospital,” Jackson said.

The hiker’s condition was not available at press time.

“What would have taken a full day to accomplish was completed in just a couple hours, thanks to the assistance of the U.S. Army,” Jackson said.

Yesterday’s rescue follows another that took place last Wednesday.

Yakima County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Randy Briscoe said a 16-year-old boy went missing after his mother and friend turned back on the hike to the False Summit.

“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,’” Briscoe said, noting the trio rested there before pushing on toward Pikers Peak.

“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.”

When the teenagers didn’t return, the mother asked other climbers to contact the Sheriff’s Office. One teen later returned.

But as night fell, the U.S. Air Ambulance was called in.

At about 10 p.m., the team located a heat signal on the mountain, Briscoe said. The Blackhawk helicopter crew lowered a paramedic and rescued the boy.


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