Mt. Stuart hiker hoisted to safety after falling 100 feet, flown to Harborview

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CLE ELUM, Wash. — A Portland man suffered serious injuries when he fell 100 feet while hiking Mount Stuart near Cle Elum.

Pete Schoepke, 43, called for help around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday and reported he had an open compound fracture to his left lower leg, and was by himself on the mountain.

Rescue crews from the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office and the Naval Air Base on Whidbey Island responded. A hoist capable helicopter was requested from State Emergency Management and coordinators were able to communicate with Schoepke directly through text messaging while the rescue was being organized.

Winds and low clouds made it difficult for crews, but two medic corpsman were able to get to Schoepke. They waited several hours hoping for better weather, but the Navy helicopter crew determined the weather would not clear and Schoepke needed to be lowered to a more accessible area under the cloud cover.

Three Chelan County Mountain Rescue members were staged at Pangborn Airport in East Wenatchee. The team was picked up by the Navy rescue Blackhawk, flown to Mount Stuart and were dropped at an area below Schoepke.

At 8:30 p.m, the weather started to clear, and a pilot and crew were able to hoist Schoepke and the two Navy medics to safety.

Schoepke was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where he is in serious, but stable condition.

The Navy was approved to fly back to Mount Stuart, picked up the Chelan County Mountain Rescue crew and flew them back to Pangborn Airport.