Search and rescue crews found a Seattle hiker Friday in the North Cascades National Park where she had been missing since last weekend.
Mary Hyde Wingfield, 33, was exhausted and dehydrated when she was found shortly after 2:30 p.m., said Chief Ranger Kinsey Shilling.
A helicopter crew scouring the rugged area for Wingfield found her “in a standing position” nearly five miles from a trailhead, he said.
“She’s just a tough individual,” Shilling said.
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More than 30 people, along with three dog teams, searched for Wingfield. She had told friends last weekend that she was headed to hike in the Darrington area. When she did not return, a friend reported her missing Tuesday.
Searchers began around Darrington. The search switched to the North Cascades after a white 1997 Toyota Corolla registered to Wingfield was found at about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the entrance of Stetattle Creek Trail, Lt. Scott Rossmiller of the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office said. The trail is near Diablo Lake, south of Ross Lake.
It was unclear why Wingfield had not notified friends of her change of plans. She is an avid hiker who often hikes alone, her friends told rescuers.
On Thursday, searchers discovered a water bottle, a dental insurance card, a grocery store membership card and a note on her employer’s letterhead indicating she was in an emergency state without food or water.
The note, signed by Wingfield, said she was heading downstream.
The clues allowed crews, who had spread out through several trails in the park, to narrow their search area.
The searchers included park rangers and members of the Whatcom and Skagit County sheriff’s departments. Also combing the Stetattle Creek area were Wingfield’s co-workers from Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center in Seattle.