This is likely not how a hiker planned to spend his evening earlier this week.
The unnamed man was climbing near the Snoqualmie Pass, which runs through the Cascade Range in Washington, when he became “cliffed out” Monday above Melakwa Lake. Just he got himself into this situation is unclear.
Somehow though he was able to call 911 for help. The King County Sheriff’s department then notified Seattle Mountain Rescue and King County Explorer Search and Rescue of the hiker’s precarious position on a skinny ledge.
According to the Snohomish Helicopter Rescue Team, the man was told help was coming but it could be “several hours” before they reached him. To this, he responded that he would “not be able to hold onto the ledge until then.”
When the helicopter crews arrived, they figured the hiker was up 5,000 feet on the west side of Chair Peak on a vertical cliff face.
“We landed at the upper Alpental ski area parking lot to offload gear/personnel and then flew back to the hiker’s location to attempt a hoist rescue,” the Snohomish team said in a description of the rescue.
“[I] let him know to keep holding the rock. Don’t grab me. Let me come and do my thing. Everything’s going to be all right. We’re going to get you out of here,” rescuer Miles McDonough told KIRO-TV of the instructions he gave the man as he was being lowered down toward him.
The man was successfully rescued and brought to safety by 8:30 p.m. local time.
Watch the whole ordeal caught on camera (Note: Skip to about 2:40 to get closer to the actual rescue action):
The hiker, who according to KIRO was not interested in speaking with the media about his rescue, shook hands with McDonough after the event. It is unclear if he suffered any injuries.