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More Hiking Experiences

I can’t write specifics about what I do at work, and lately in my free time, hiking is what I’ve been doing. At the risk of turning this into a hiking blog, here are some details about another hike I did.

I drove to the Rainy Pass on the North Cascades Highway to do the Heather Pass-Maple Pass loop [1]. It was my longest drive to go hiking yet, a little over three hours.

The hike started out rather easy (going counter-clockwise towards Heather Pass), definitely compared to last weekend, going from White River up to Sunrise at Mt. Rainier.

At Heather Pass, I saw smoke rising from near Lewis Lake, and then a tree burst into flames:

A little bit later, a helicopter showed up, left again, and then started shuttling water to the fire. I felt adventurous, deviated from my planned route, and climbed up to Horseshoe Pass so I could see the fire again. It wasn’t a large wildfire, but a wildfire nonetheless.

I was never in danger, of course, other than the dangers that are inherent in hiking. On my way down, I met a woman who had just broken her leg. She was sitting at the side of the trail with a friend, waiting for help. Two other friends had rushed down to the trailhead to get medics. Of course, no phones work within about an hour’s drive. I asked if she needed anything, water or food, but she said she was fine.

I was worried, because it would get dark and cold soon. The night before, it was freezing. It took me about an hour to get down to the trailhead from there, and when I got there, firefighters had already arrived. I gave them my map and showed them where the woman was.

The firefighters said they’d have until about 7:30 PM to get her down, after that it would be too dangerous for everyone. They were readying a helicopter. Someone with EMT experience said a helicopter rescue costs $30,000 just for transportation.

I hope everything worked out for her.

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