Chelan County Sheriff Brian Burnett reports today of a successful Search and Rescue of a bear hunter, 43 year old Loren Anderson of Montesano who became lost in the Poe Mountain area off the Little Wenatchee drainage in Lake Wenatchee. Rivercom received a call from Anderson’s father early Tuesday morning stating Anderson failed to show up for work after planning a weekend hike in the Poe Mountain area with the intent to scout for bear.
He reportedly had provisions for the hike and was wearing camouflage clothing. A Chelan County Deputy found Anderson’s vehicle parked at the trailhead and contacted the County’s Search and Rescue Division. The Sheriff’s helicopter was deployed at about 10:30 AM and searched the area for any indication for Anderson. With an unsuccessful search from the air, a ground teams started into the area. At about 4 PM yesterday, one of the ground team members was able to make verbal communication with Anderson. They could hear him yelling for help, but could not pinpoint his exact location.
The Sheriff’s helicopter was launched again to attempt to locate Anderson, now having a better location, but due to the heavy brush and his camouflage clothing, were still unable to locate him. The area he was believed to be in was steep and thick with vegetation, making it difficult to navigate. Four members of the Chelan County Search and Rescue, High Angle Rope Rescue Team spent the night in the area along with two members of the Chelan County Sheriff’s Volunteer Services. They lost verbal communication with Anderson as it was getting dark, but still searched and attempted communication until about 2:30 AM today.
At about 7 AM this morning, the Search Team was able to re-establish verbal communication withAnderson. At about 9 AM, Fairchild Air Force helicopter located Anderson and was able to winch him up and transport him to the trail head. Ground teams got to within 500 feet ofAnderson. He was uninjured and in good condition stating to searchers he took a wrong turn near Poe Mountain, placing him closer to Irving Peak, roughly 2 miles from Poe. When he realized he was lost, he stayed put.
The Chelan CountySheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Team want to remind people to be fully prepared when venturing out into the wilderness. Whether alone or with a friend, it is important to make sure you carry the proper equipment. In addition to certain essentials like food, water, shelter etc. a good GPS can be purchased for around $100. Don’t just carry it, make sure you know how to properly use it. Make sure to tell someone your detailed plans for travel into the area you are visiting. PLB’s or “Personal Locator Beacons” can also be purchased for around $100 with about a $100 yearly activation fee. While some people are afraid of new technology, they have proven themselves reliable tools in addition to having a good working knowledge of Map and Compass. They can and have saved our searchers many critical hours when searching for someone who might be seriously injured.