Tuesday October 1, 2013
This is an update on the three search and rescue operations held today in northern Skamania County County Sheriff’s Office is currently operating 3 active search and rescue operations in northern Skamania County.
The search for Kristopher Zitzewitz, 31, of Portland, OR will continue at 0800 tomorrow morning in the Big Lava Beds approximately 10 miles north of Cook, WA in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Zitzewitz was looking for caves with his partner, Caleb Richie of Portland, OR when they became separated about 2:00 PM Saturday afternoon, 28 September. 41 ground searchers, 2 vehicles, and 4 K9 teams actively searched the area without results today. The search is based at Goose Lake Campground. A resource request has been implemented with Washington State Department of Emergency Management for 30-40 ground searchers, 6 4×4 vehicles, 6-12 4 wheel ATVs, and air support for the search operations tomorrow. Air support will be weather dependent.
Search operations concluded this evening with a US Coast Guard helicopter hoisting Matt Margiotta and his hiking partner, Kyla Arnold, to safety from their location on the Pacific Crest Trail north of Trout Lake, WA. Margiotta reported a 0730 am on Monday, 30 September that they were in snow and may have to be rescued. The pair had been hiking the PCT from Mexico and were trying to go to Canada. Searchers attempted to reach the two but had to turn back within ¾ of a mile of the couple as they faced waist deep snow and failing daylight. The Coast Guard helicopter, out of Air Station Astoria, was able to reach the pair early this evening and were en-route to the Portland International Airport, along with the Thurston County SAR team at the time of this release. There was no known medical assistance required.
Officials are still trying to locate Alejandrea Wilson. At 1151 am on Monday, 30 September, Dane Wilson reported his daughter Alejandrea Wilson, 23, was overdue to check in with him on her hike of the Pacific Crest Trail. Wilson is also hiking the PCT north and had last talked with her father on Friday at 3:00 pm as she was leaving Trout Lake for White Pass, WA. Deputies continue to compile additional information to determine her whereabouts and condition at this time. Officials will be determining the appropriate course of action tomorrow morning.
“The efforts of all of our SAR volunteers over the past several days has been exemplary,” stated Undersheriff Dave Cox. “We are also very grateful for the cooperation and professionalism of the US Coast Guard crew and the coordination efforts of the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and the Washington Department of Emergency Management in bringing Matt and Kyla home safely” he said.
Thank you for your assistance
Skamania County Sheriff’s Office