Injured hiker rescued in Kittitas County following 120-foot fall

Kittitas County
Joe Lake (Image via Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife)

ELLENSBURG, Wash. — Emergency responders from across the Snoqualmie Pass region rescued a hiker who hit her head and broke a leg during a 120-foot fall in the Joe Lake area of Kittitas County.

According to a social media alert from the Kittitas County Sheriff, dispatchers received a distress call around 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 21.

Callers said that Christina Ford, 36, of Camano Island fell roughly 120 feet down a snowy embankment, suffering several injuries along the way. They advised that she had been hiking with her husband and friend for seven hours from Snoqualmie Pass that day.

KCSO crews and Kittitas County Search and Rescue prepared to respond while a King County rescue helicopter was requested to help extract her. As Fire & Rescue teams based out of Snoqualmie Pass cleared a landing zone, local teams stood by in case a ground rescue was deemed necessary.

However, the Guardian 2 helicopter team was successful in launching and recovering the victim, who was en route to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle within an hour of the helicopter taking off. No further details on her condition are available as of the time this story is being published.

“KCSR volunteers dropped everything, as they so often do, when they received the callout,” Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office officials stated via social media. “Last night, many of them were already at a fundraiser for Search and Rescue when they got that call.”

Joe Lake, described by the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife as “a very rugged fisherman’s trail to a lonely mountain lake,” is located along the Pacific Crest Trail.


READ: Kittitas County search crews recover body of Western WA man who fell off his paddleboard