KING COUNTY, Wash. - Officials were responding to two avalanche rescue efforts Saturday night.
Man skiing near Snoqualmie Pass injured, hospitalized
A man skiing out of bounds near Alpental at Snoqualmie Pass triggered an avalanche, according to the King County Sheriff's Office.
The King County Sheriff's Office says the man rode the avalanche down the mountain and broke his femur. A man who was with him was able to hike up high enough to get a cell phone signal to call for help.
Search and Rescue volunteers from King County and Seattle Mountain Rescue are working with firefighters and medics to reach the man.
Deputy Peter Linde, with the King County Sheriff's Office, said he'd like to use KCSO Guardian 2 helicopter to hoist the man to safety, but that helicopter was already headed to Kittitas County to rescue a snowmobiler who was caught in an avalanche. He reached out to the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office to see if they could help, but he said the crew available doesn't fly at night.
Rescuers are going to hike, ski, and snow shoe to reach the victim who is about five miles from the upper Alpental parking lot, but there is no direct route to reach him.
They expect it to take hours to get him out. His injuries are severe enough that two medics from Bellevue Fire are also headed in with snow shoes to help stabilize the victim before he's brought out in a sled.
After 8:00 on Saturday night the Navy sent a helicopter from NAS Whidbey Island with a 6-person crew to hoist the injured skier.
They planned to fly him to Harborview Medical Center but then weather conditions kept them from flying west. They were forced to land at the pass and Bellevue medics drove the injured skier the rest of the way to Harborview Medical Center. He arrived around 9:30 p.m. and was rushed into the emergency room.
Man killed in avalanche in Kittitas Co.
King County rescue officials were on their way Saturday night to help an avalanche victim in Kittitas County with a hoist.
The 45-year-old man, from Kirkland, died of his injuries. He and another man were snowmobiling in the Hawkins Mountain area when they were caught in a large avalanche.
The second man was located quickly, officials said, as his head and arm were visible.
The 45-year-old victim was completely buried. Life-saving measures were not successful on him, officials said.
Guardian 2 is en route to kititas county for a hoist rescue of an avalanche victim. pic.twitter.com/rsFdnCw8LT— KCSOAirsupport (@KCSOAirsupport) March 4, 2017
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