Sheriff Brian Burnett reports a family of six became stranded in a cabin located in the Sears Creek drainage of west Chelan County over the weekend. Due to heavy and constant snow from Saturday through Wednesday morning the subjects, who had skied into the cabin, cabin could not ski the 2 ¼ miles back to their vehicles located on the White River Road.
Search and Rescue coordinators with the Sheriff’s Office were advised of the situation at 7:00pm on Tuesday evening. A local family member had called RIVERCOM to advise they attempted to ride snowmobiles into the stranded group earlier in the day, but the snow was so deep the snowmobiles bogged down and became stuck.
On Wednesday morning, SAR personnel assessed the situation and determined over 26 inches of snow had fallen in the White River and Sears Creek drainages since Saturday afternoon. Sears Creek Road is primarily private and is not maintained. A snow cat - tracked vehicle - was requested from the Chelan County PUD to assist. The snow cat, accompanied by Sheriff’s Office personnel on snowmobiles, was driven from the White River Road to the cabin. All six subjects were transported out to their vehicles on White River Road by 12:15pm without incident.
Paul (65yoa) and Pamela (64yoa) Scott of Richland, WA own the cabin and had skied into the location on February 9th prior to the wave of storm fronts beginning to release large amounts snow over the Cascade Range beginning on February 15th. Their son, Ryan Scott with wife Emily (both 37yoa) and two children (4years and 1 ½ years old) skied in and joined them on Saturday the 15th. The family attempted to leave the cabin on their own accord Monday, but was stopped by the deep snow. Ryan Scott had to climb to a nearby ridge to obtain cell service and call other family members for assistance. The Scott’s had a good supply of food and firewood during the stay at the cabin.