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Stranded Hiker Located In Indian Heaven Wilderness

The Skamania County Sheriff’s Office initiated a search late Friday evening, August 12th, after receiving a report that a hiker was stuck on a bluff near Lemei Lake in the Indian Heaven Wildness near Mt. Adams.
Stephen Funk, 42 years of age, from Portland OR, had contacted a friend by cell phone late Friday afternoon and reported he had been hiking in the area of Lemei Rock and Lake Wapiki and had lost the trail due to snow.  Funk told the friend he was unable to locate the trail and did not know how to find his way out.   Skamania County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the area along with an officer from the Forest Service.  Funk reported via cell phone that he could see a road from his location.  Deputies were able to obtain a visual on Funk from Forest Road 24. 
Search and Rescue resources were dispatched to the area.   At about 9:30pm a hasty team from Wind River Search and Rescue was sent into the field.  At approximately 3:40am Saturday, searchers located Funk.  Searchers provided Funk food and water and then began the hike back to the trailhead.  Searchers arrived back at search base at approximately 6:30am. 
Funk had set out for a day hike in the Wilderness and discovered parts of the high country in the wilderness are still covered with snow making it difficult to locate the trail system.   Funk was fortunate to have the use of a cell phone to make the initial report and to stay in contact throughout the search mission.  “There is no substitute for a map and compass when venturing out into the wilderness and it is always a good idea to expect the unexpected as in this case.  There is still a moderate amount of snow in many places in the high country,” said Sheriff Dave Brown.  “Up until last week, there were some roads that were still impassable due to snow drifts in the Mt. Adams area,” said Brown.  
Hikers should be prepared to encounter snow when hiking the wilderness areas and specifically the Pacific Crest trail and feeder trails above the 4,500-foot level.  It is possible that some of the snow on will remain well into late August and early September.
End Press Release
Dave Brown, Sheriff