Two hikers safe after falls on two peaks

Volcano Rescue Team handles both of the emergencies at once

By Patty Hastings, Columbian breaking news reporter

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The North Country EMS Volcano Rescue Team responded Tuesday to two distressed hikers — one on Silver Star Mountain in Skamania County and the other on Mount St. Helens.

The names of the hikers had not been released as of The Columbian's press time.

A woman fell 35 feet down a nearly 60-degree slope around 12:35 p.m. on Silver Star Mountain. She was about two miles up Ed's Trail, at the 3,800-foot elevation, according to a North Country EMS bulletin.

She did not report any injuries, but it was too brushy, slippery and steep for her to safely get back to her group. No one in her hiking party from Vancouver Parks and Recreation could safely get down to her. One member was able to lower a small rope for her to hold on to until help arrived.

Six members of the Volcano Rescue Team hiked the two miles to the site and lowered one rescuer to the hiker via a rope system. The rescuer put a rescue harness on the woman and she was raised up to the trail.

She was able to walk back to her vehicle at the trailhead by 4:26 p.m.

Six members of the Volcano Rescue Team went to Silver Star, but had to be diverted to the fallen hiker on Mount St. Helens early Tuesday afternoon.

On Mount St. Helens

Sean Ross, 14, fell at about 1:17 p.m. on Monitor Ridge, the mountain's main climbing route.

He landed on a rock, injuring his head and shoulder, and briefly lost consciousness, according to a witness who called 911.

Rescuers arrived at the trailhead at 1:53 p.m.

Three North Country EMTs carrying a rescue basket and medical equipment climbed the mountain and reached the boy at 3:29 p.m. Seven more rescuers followed up with rope equipment.

Ross was then carried down the mountain and taken to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center where he was later released.

North Country EMS and its Volcano Rescue Team handled both rescues without assistance from other agencies. North Country EMS has handled simultaneous events on Mount St. Helens before, but members could not remember the last time two simultaneous rescues happened on two different mountains, according to the bulletin.