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1 hiker was injured and the other was lost. Volunteers saved them both

Gem Lake and McClellan Butte hikers were delivered to safety by King County Search and Rescue volunteers on Sunday morning.
Gem Lake and McClellan Butte hikers were delivered to safety by King County Search and Rescue volunteers on Sunday morning. Courtesy

As the volunteer Search and Rescue team worked to save an injured hiker Saturday night and Sunday morning near Snoqualmie Pass, they received word of a lost hiker on a nearby peak. They delivered both to safety, said King County Sheriff spokeswoman Cindi West.

The crew was in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness north of the Alpental ski area Saturday night after receiving reports that a hiker injured his knee at Gem Lake. The hiker was traveling with a group, and the others were able to send a text message requesting help, West said.

A rescue team of nearly 30 people — all but one were volunteers — responded. After the rescuers reached the injured hiker, he was able to hike part way under his own power before needing to be carried the rest of the way in a litter, West said.

During the rescue, six of the volunteers left to respond to a call of a missing hiker on nearby McClellan Butte. The hiker was reportedly on the trail with a friend, who did not want to continue past the avalanche chutes near the top of the peak. While avalanche risk was likely low Saturday, snow remains on the trails at higher elevations and hikers have died falling on the trail in the past.

When the hiker didn’t return to the vehicle, his friend called for help. The rescuers found the missing hiker about 4 a.m. Sunday. The hiker was cold and disoriented, West said.

Names, ages and hometowns of the hikers has not yet been released.

West says the volunteers starting working at 8 p.m. Saturday and finished Sunday morning at 8.

“They really are impressive,” West said of the volunteers. “Who gets up at 8 at night and works all night. They are amazing.”

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