OUR MISSION

Incorporated in 1948, Seattle Mountain Rescue is a volunteer organization of seasoned alpinists dedicated to saving lives through search, rescue, and mountain safety education. It specializes in mountainous terrain searches and high angle rescues, primarily in King County, Washington. It is a fully-accredited member of the Mountain Rescue Association and the King County Search and Rescue Association.

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Seattle Mountain Rescue had the privilege to work with the Washington State Animal Response Team (WASART) and our local SAR partners, King County Explorer Search and Rescue, King County 4x4 Search and Rescue, IST, and the Northwest Horse Search and Rescue Team to rescue a horse and rider who fell from the Pacific Crest Trail near Snoqualmie Pass.

The turn out from all the groups was excellent with some members staying out overnight to help the rider and horse. Staring early yesterday morning as many as 65 volunteers worked to rescue the horse using rigging, trail building and equestrian skills to safely bring the horse and rider out 4.5 miles back down the trail. The horse had fallen nearly 100 feet down a 45 degree slope and amazingly neither the rider nor the horse suffered any serious injury.

And thank you to the The Soup Ladies for providing a hot meal to the teams at the end of the day.
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Ann Marie Hetrick, Steve Haak and 180 others like this

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Jane StorrsI was the riding partner who heard a crash and turned to watch my dear friend and her horsenotbe horse roll off the trail! She jumped clear after the horse rolled 360 degrees, then we both watched as her horse rolled another 3 complete 360 degree rotations and crashed into a tree that arrested her fall. Then the horse tried to get up and fell again and rolled at least 2 full rotations out of sight. My horse became frantic seeing this. I had to get him off that ledge and tied. When I returned my friend said she was ok but she had crawled down to check her horse and I couldn't be sure she wasnt too shocky to follow directions. I started for help and found a nearby camper who tried to crawl down to her with me, but right away the camper lost her footing and she rolled 30 feet so I knew I needed help and there was no way I could get to my friend to stabilize her. My horse was still in a panic so I was afraid to ride him out. I hiked out, leaving a glow stick to mark where my friend and her horse were off the trail and another glowstick where I tied my horse. Then 1/2 way down I must have had reception for a second and George called me!! He said he would call 911 and head up to me so I hiked back to my friend. At that time I was able to convince her to climb up far enough to reach my extra-long lead line and by the grace of the Universe I managed to pull her up the last 10-12 vertical feet onto the trail. (There was nothing to hold on to....hust the shelf and a loose dirt wall.) She was OK!!!! I tucked her in w/the camper and hiked out again to get sleeping bags, a tarp, hay and water for my horse. 1/2 way down the mountain I met the rescuers coming up!!!!!! I have never been so grateful in my life. Jim (?) and Nick hiked me the rest of the way down where the Sherriff and dozens of volunteers were already gathered. I hiked back in with supplies and support and tended to my horse then went to sleep on the ground at 4am. I was shaken awKe around 7 and told to tend to my nervous horse as more and more people and equipment arrived. I couldnt watch the rescue because there was nowhere I could tie him except down the trail. He had no food and no water and was very traumatized. I decided I needed to get him out. As soon as the vet arrived I started back down riding him and that was about the worst 5.5 miles I've ever ridden in my life. I had to dismount several times as people came by with crazy stuff like a huge 200# sled, at least 6x10' long, and he was so freaked out I could barely hold him. He was charging and screaming and just a totally different animal tgan my confident expert trail horse!! After being up til 4am, missing my arthritis meds and sleeping in a horse blanket I was about done for. The worst part was when we finally got to water and I dismounted so he could drink when 2 huge flashy paints appeared about 10 feet above him on the trail and despite my request they back away they were not paying attention and continued to encroach on my traumatized horse. He broke free from me and ran to the paints to try to insert himself between them in their herd and the woman holding the first one finally figured out what was going on and started screaming and striking him with her lead rope and attempting to drive him off the trail away from her horses. That was about the weirdest horse rescue technique I've ever seen and I am NOT a fan. Other rescuers got her to calm down and I retreived my horse and of course I apologized that he had gotten loose and the gentleman behind her started to lecture me about keeping my horse under control--and I ungraciously list it and vadically told him the only thing worse than a judgemental rescuer is yaving to shoot your beloved horse. I apologize for that. But somebody wearing a neon shirt doesnot a rescuer make! She almost drove my horse off the trail too and believe me it wouldn't have taken much. All the other horse rescuers I passed we calm, authoritative but not bossy and they seemed to understand what I was going through, for instance I dismounted the nect time wecame to horses and after they passed us they stopped and waited for me to safely mount up. When I pointed out how helpful that was one rescuer replied, "it's not our first rodeo!" Almost all the rescuers were absolutely amazing. I laughed later because I told the ESAR guys there is a Wasart person on a blog I used to get who likes to comment on the stupidity of those who need rescue and I was hoping to avoid ever meeting that person. I guess in retrospect I should have asked for someone to ride out with me. But to be honest I was beyond exhaustion and didn't think of that at the time. I'm sure that would have been a lot safer for everyone. But thank God we are ALL SAFE and we both went back to work today and the horses are fine although my friend's mare will need recovery time and my "world class trail horse" may need some serious desensitization. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for being there when this horrible accident happened. Bob I guess maybe now I have something to bring to Story Time lol.1 day ago   ·  10
Yogesh KumarThank you God and volunteers of SAR community!3 days ago   ·  4
Erica BlissWell done!! Lucky horse :-)2 days ago   ·  2
Alison AylesworthAmazing! Thank you for your service!2 days ago   ·  1
Connie Baxter Arneyscarey!! glad the horse is ok!!3 days ago   ·  2
Jeri CranneyJane, I can't believe this. Thank the Gods you are Ok. How is sweet Huey tonight?1 day ago   ·  3
Eilene Greenawesome job guys2 days ago   ·  3
Phyllis FrenchThank you God!3 days ago   ·  3
Gwen TollefsonWow! Good work everyone!3 days ago   ·  2
Marti DolezalAwesome!3 days ago   ·  2
Alison KilroyThank you to all the groups!!!3 days ago   ·  2
Rebecca KnightWow! And More wow! So happy the outcome was good, but some of that tale was just gut wrenching!1 day ago   ·  2
Fawn SpadyAmazing. I saw them all gathered at the trailhead when I left the pass yesterday. Good work.3 days ago   ·  2
Robyn SmithGreat story! You should get it published somewhere other than Facebook. You're a good writer.16 hours ago   ·  1
Art AskeLucky horse normally they don't survive that type of stress even if they survive the fall3 days ago   ·  1
Jeffrey RoweBZ to all involved2 days ago   ·  1
Daniel LangOutstanding job!3 days ago   ·  1
Marlo Pikul HollowayLove that your came together to help!3 days ago   ·  1
Mary JonesYou're all my heroes!!!!16 hours ago   ·  1
Velga AdamsonsAngels, both heavenly and human, were watching over them and taking care of them.2 days ago   ·  1
Sue HunterThanks all. Great outcome. Thanks for caring and for sharing your skills to help others.2 days ago   ·  2
Jan StaroskiYou all continue to be amazing. Thank you.2 days ago   ·  1
Cynthia StangLove community getting together to help each other out. That is the way it should be.10 hours ago   ·  1
Christopher OsbornThank you all!3 days ago   ·  1
Bob AntoneWe were just there on august 22nd...some of the path is dangerous and I can see how someone made a mistake. The trail is narrow in some spots and rock slides undermining the walkway (especially chikimin ridge)3 days ago   ·  1

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