Lost Hiker Safe in Olympic NP

His smart decisions serve as a refresher course in backcountry survival
Staff Writer

Too often the story of a person missing in the wild ends in tragedy. This was not the case for missing hiker Tim Bailey, who was found Wednesday afternoon after a two-day search in Olympic National Park. And Bailey, 32, has his own survival knowledge to thank.

A native of Mountlake Terrace, WA, Bailey injured his ankle in a 150-foot fall down the side of a drainage of the North Fork of the Sol Duc River. When Bailey did not return on Sunday night as planned, his wife alerted officials. Rescuers airlifted him to a Port Angeles hospital for examination.

Accidents in the backcountry can happen regularly, as evidenced by David Snider, 55, who also had a close call in Olympic National Park in May. Both stories are reminders to be prepared before heading out on a wilderness hike and to know what to do if you get lost or injured. Bailey's smart decisions in this crisis paid off.

“He did all the right things,” said Olympic National Park Incident Commander Kristin Kirschner. “Once he realized he would not be able to get out of the canyon under his own power, he stayed where he was, made himself as visible as possible, built a large signal fire, and waited for help.”

Via National Parks Traveler.

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