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Searchers Locate And Rescue Cold Snowshoer

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

1100 hours

At 1:00 pm, Skamania County Sheriff’s Office received a cell call from a Portland, Oregon woman that was snowshoeing on Dog Mountain and had lost the trail.  Betsy Steinhart, 36, of Portland, OR advised authorities that she was near the junction of the Dog Mountain and Augspurger Mountain trails at approximately 3400 feet.  She said she had run into heavy snow and felt unsafe to continue for fear of slipping and falling. 

A SAR Hasty team comprised of Brad Liedtke and Mike Dunn from Wind River Search and Rescue responded along with Skamania County Deputies to the Dog Mountain Trailhead, approximately 10 miles east of Stevenson, WA on Highway 14.  It took approximately 3 and ½ hours for searchers to reach the woman in snow and high winds.  A US Coastguard helicopter from Coast Guard Station Astoria responded as well but, because of high wind conditions including a deteriorating cloud cover, were unable to assist.  Two additional SAR teams were deployed into the field, met up with the first team, and all returned to the trailhead at the base of Dog Mountain at 9:35pm. 

Steinhart was checked by medics on scene and was not transported. 

15 personnel from Wind River Search and Rescue, Clark County Search and Rescue, Silver Star Search and Rescue, Skamania County EMS, and the Skamania County Sheriff’s Office all participated in this effort.

“We are fortunate to have individuals such as Brad Liedtke and Mike Dunn of Wind River Search and Rescue at our disposal, that make themselves available to volunteer for SAR missions such as this”, said Sergeant Arne Gonser.  “These men did an excellent job of reaching Ms Steinhart, and warming her sufficiently so they could bring her down the trail to meet up with the other teams when the weather made air operations impossible”.


Thank you for your assistance

Dave Cox
Skamania County Sheriff’s Office