The search for a missing spelunker and through-hiker on the Pacific Crest Trail will take to the air Thursday with helicopters from the King County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Coast Guard.
Undersheriff Dave Cox of the Skamania County Sheriff’s Office said he is going to fly with the a Coast Guard helicopter crew out of Astoria to look for Alejandra Wilson, 23, of Portland.
On Monday, her father, Dane Wilson, reported her overdue for a check-in after she left Trout Lake for White Pass. Officials said she is believed to be on the trail north of Riley Creek in northern Skamania or Yakima counties.
Wilson began hiking the PCT in May in Mexico and planned to hike through to Canada. She is documenting her trip in an online blog where she goes under the nickname “Rocket Llama.”
Wilson crossed Oregon from south to north, and reached the Portland area on Sept. 22, according to her blog.
Cox said he also temporarily suspended ground-search efforts for a Portland man in the Big Lava Beds area of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest
Kristopher Zitzewitz, 31, and a friend, Caleb Richie of Portland, were looking for caves in the area 10 miles north of Cook, Wash., when they became separated about 2 p.m. Saturday.
About 18 ground searchers, two K-9 teams and numerous rescue vehicles on Wednesday searched the area where Zitzewitz was last seen. An air search was turned back earlier in the day because of weather.
“We want to give our search resources an opportunity to regroup and revitalize over the next couple of days,” Cox said. “We will be mounting an extensive air search in the morning and have requested multiple air resources to assist with that effort.”
On Tuesday, two other Pacific Crest Trail hikers were rescued from heavy snow in southern Washington. Matt Margiotta and Kyla Arnold were hiking from Mexico to Canada when they reported getting stranded Monday north of Trout Lake.
A Coast Guard helicopter Tuesday night reached the two, who were reported to be in good health.