A search for overdue backpacker Jerren Fisher, who was missing for a week, ended Sunday evening with a rescue in Olympic National Park, WA. National Park Service search and rescue teams made voice contact with Fisher at 4:36 pm on Sunday afternoon. With a break in the weather, the park requested assistance from the United States Coast Guard to locate Fisher and a helicopter from Port Angeles was dispatched. At 7:16 pm the Olympic National Park search and rescue teams spotted Fisher on a hillside in the Seven Stream drainage, just north of Six Ridge. A larger Coast Guard helicopter from Astoria, Oregon hoisted Fisher and transported him in stable condition to Olympia Regional Airport where he was taken to the hospital for medical evaluation and care.
Special thanks to the volunteers from Olympic Mountain Rescue and Tacoma Mountain Rescue who aided the National Park Service in the search; to the Washington State Search and Rescue Planning Unit and North Cascades National Park for their support; and to the United States Coast Guard for their assistance in this successful outcome.
Visitors are urged to plan ahead, hike smart, pack the Ten Essentials, and have an emergency plan—even for a day hike. Hiking is a popular activity through the fall and visitors are reminded to be prepared for changing weather conditions that can also affect rescue efforts. Consider learning CPR and basic wilderness first aid, especially if you are planning to hike in the backcountry.
The search and rescue operation to locate Fisher began on Thursday, September 16 when he was reported overdue to park dispatch by a family member. Fisher had a wilderness permit for September 8-12 and was planning on camping at Enchanted Valley, Marmot Lake, Camp Pleasant, and Sundown Lake before returning to his vehicle via Graves Creek Trailhead. Park rangers then located Fisher’s vehicle at the Graves Creek Trailhead and initiated a hasty search.
Search and rescue personnel hiked into the wilderness Thursday afternoon from the Graves Creek Trailhead towards Sundown Lake following Fisher’s itinerary in reverse as well as from the North Fork Skokomish Trail. National Park Service personnel who were already in the wilderness assisted with the search between Marmot Lake and Camp Pleasant. The search continued through the weekend despite efforts being hampered by the cold, rainy, and windy weather. A storm system across the Olympic Peninsula created unfavorable conditions for the use of aviation search resources until Sunday evening.
According to Wikipedia, Olympic National Park is a United States national park located in the State of Washington, on the Olympic Peninsula. The park has four regions: the Pacific coastline, alpine areas, the west-side temperate rainforest, and the forests of the drier east side. Within the park, there are three distinct ecosystems, including subalpine forest and wildflower meadow, temperate forest, and the rugged Pacific coast.
President Theodore Roosevelt originally designated the park as Mount Olympus National Monument on March 2, 1909. The monument was re-designated as a national park by Congress and President Franklin Roosevelt on June 29, 1938. In 1976, Olympic National Park was designated by UNESCO as an International Biosphere Reserve, and in 1981 as a World Heritage Site. In 1988, Congress designated 95 percent of the park as the Olympic Wilderness.