Marine Rescues Elderly Vet Stranded On A Seattle Mountain

Community
Capt. Nick Anthony, a U.S. Marine Corps recruiting management officer based in Seattle, assisted in the rescue of an elderly man while climbing in North Cascades National Park, Washington, Sept. 10, 2016.
U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Reece Lodder

What started out as a day of mountain climbing at the Boston Basin Trailhead a few hours northeast of Seattle, Washington, turned into a rescue mission on a winding trail in the dark.


On Sept. 10, Marine Capt. Nick Anthony and his friends Colin Ayers, Melanie Stam, and Ben Stilin set off in the early morning to summit the 8,500-foot high Sahale mountain, according to a Marine Corps news release. Anthony currently serves as the executive officer at Marine Corps Recruiting Station Seattle, Washington.

After reaching 7,900 feet in elevation, poor visibility forced the climbers to find an alternate route, so they backtracked 1,000 feet down, then 600 feet back up over the course of four hours to another trail.

Colin Ayers (right), Melanie Stam (center) and Ben Stilin escape whiteout conditions on the Quien Sabe Glacier in North Cascades National Park, Washington, Sept. 10, 2016.Photo courtesy of Capt. Nick Anthony

That’s where they came across Catherine Mitchell, a content project manager for Microsoft in Redmond, Washington, who flagged the hikers down. Mitchell was on a 7.4-mile trek through nearby Cascade Pass with two others, Norman Petty and his wife Barbara, when Petty’s breathing became labored and his legs began to give out.

Already 12 hours into their climb, Anthony and the others were exhausted, but they quickly followed Mitchell and after talking with Petty, a 77-year old Army veteran, they found out that he has Parkinson’s disease and had forgotten to take his medication that morning.

Fortunately, Anthony was both an experienced climber and had just returned from wilderness survival training. He quickly took stock of the group’s supplies and made sure Petty had a chance to eat and rest, but they had to move quickly — it was beginning to get dark.

Related: These Marines In Their Dress Blues Chased Down 3 Suspected Thieves »

Stilin went ahead to find a park ranger as Anthony and Ayers worked together to build a support system using trekking poles, jackets and gloves.

“Their ingenuity, creativity and perseverance was incredible,” said Petty of Anthony and Ayers. “I was worried I might fall off the cliff, but they took hold of the available materials and prevented that.”

Petty was able to take some of the pressure off his legs by draping his arms over the poles as they began to make their way down, but it was slow-going. Every 50 meters Petty would need to stop and catch his breath. After three miles of switchbacks over three hours, it was nearing 9 p.m. and getting cold.

The pass was becoming too narrow and their progress too slow, so the group stopped and set about building a makeshift litter to carry Petty. Fortunately, a larger group of hikers came down the trail, and together fashioned a litter from a hammock and a mix of climbing gear. Emboldened and with reinforcements, they continued on their way and by 10 p.m. reached the trailhead.

Petty was evaluated and treated, then released to his wife and headed home, thanks to the efforts of Anthony and his fellow climbers.

“This was a life-changing event,” Petty said. “We were so fortunate to encounter Washingtonians who, without any hesitation, decided to help us get down the mountain. They were giving, caring people and weren’t looking for accolades. Their reward was in successfully working together to bring all of us back safely.”

Maj. Matthew Golsteyn in Afghanistan. (Photo courtesy of Philip Stackhouse.)

Nearly a decade after he allegedly murdered an unarmed Afghan civilian during a 2010 deployment, the case of Army Maj. Matthew Golsteyn is finally going to trial.

Read More Show Less
In this May 28, 2019 file photo, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban group's top political leader, second left, arrives with other members of the Taliban delegation for talks in Moscow, Russia. (Associated Press/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - The Taliban have sent a delegation to Russia to discuss prospects for a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan following the collapse of talks with the United States this month, officials from the insurgent group said.

The move, days after President Donald Trump canceled a planned meeting with Taliban leaders at his Camp David retreat, came as the movement looks to bolster regional support, with visits also planned for China, Iran and Central Asian states.

Read More Show Less
Joe Heller (Legacy.com)

Per his final demands, Joe Heller was laid in his casket Thursday in a T-shirt featuring the Disney dwarf Grumpy and the middle finger of his right hand extended. He also told his daughters to make sure and place a remote control fart machine in the coffin with him.

"My father always wanted the last laugh," daughter Monique Heller said.

The Essex volunteer firefighter and self-described local "dawg kecher" died on Sept. 8 at age 82, and the off-color obituary written by his youngest daughter has become a nationwide sensation — a lead item on cable news sites, a top story on The Courant's website and a post shared far and wide on social media.

Laced with bawdy humor, the irreverent but loving obit captured Heller's highly inappropriate nature and his golden heart, friends who filled the fire station for a celebration of his life on Thursday evening said.

Read More Show Less

A 19-year-old man who planned a July mass shooting at a West Lubbock hotel that was thwarted by his grandmother was upset that he was considered "defective" by the military when he was discharged for his mental illness, according to court records.

William Patrick Williams faces federal charges for reportedly lying on an application to buy the semiautomatic rifle he planned to use in a shooting, according to a federal indictment filed Aug. 14.

He is charged with a federal felony count of making a false material statement during the purchase of a firearm on July 11, a day before he planned to lure people out of a hotel and shoot them. The charge carries a punishment of up to five years in prison.

Read More Show Less
A photograph circulated by the U.S. State Department's Twitter account to announce a $1 million USD reward for al Qaeda key leader Hamza bin Laden, son of Osama bin Laden, is seen March 1, 2019. (State Department via Reuters)

Reuters) - Hamza bin Laden, a son of slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and himself a notable figure in the militant group, was killed in a U.S. counter-terrorism operation, the White House said on Saturday.

Read More Show Less