Found Deceased WA - Rachel Lakoduk, 28, hiker, Marblemount, North Cascades, 17 Oct 2019

Discussion in 'Located Persons Discussion' started by JerseyGirl, Oct 22, 2019.

  1. sasha17

    sasha17 Curiouser & curiouser

    Messages:
    1,808
    Likes Received:
    5,652
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I really hope they can recover her before the weather gets any worse and they have to postpone searches until spring. :(
     


  2. K9Enzo

    K9Enzo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,394
    Likes Received:
    40,451
    Trophy Points:
    113
    (IMO) Trail conditions changed drastically on Rachel. She was also in a area where the risk of avalanches is high. Many hikers have found themselves in serious trouble when weather changes and it drastically changes the terrain on them. It would be very difficult to navigate in general but even more so if you not very familiar with the trails/area.

    When you’ve in elevated snow covered mountainous areas, you also run the risk of thinking you’re on the trail and stepping off and being engulfed in several feet of snow. I know of some people even stepping off the trail on accident and right down into a pine tree. Totally engulfed. How do you get out without sinking further? Post holing is a real concern. The panic would be real, only making the situation worse.

    Being alone in these conditions is absolutely life threatening. It’s gut wrenching to think of how terrified she must have been.

    SAR is putting in an incredible effort to find her. Bless them & their safety. Her family has been very gracious and my heart breaks for them into a million pieces.

    Sometimes these mountain areas keep the missing and it’s difficult to loosen the grasp.
     
  3. rosesfromangels

    rosesfromangels Amateur speculations and opinion only

    Messages:
    11,408
    Likes Received:
    54,586
    Trophy Points:
    113
    The photo of the cabin she was heading to makes it easy to understand why she wanted to get there. So breathtaking, beautiful.

    I know it seems highly unlikely, but I'm still holding out hope that this gal has somehow survived to this point creating a snow cave, etc. Highly unlikely, but I'm still clinging to that little shred of hope.

    Amateur opinion and speculation
     
  4. zecats

    zecats Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,596
    Likes Received:
    60,350
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Right? That cabin was splendidly enticing. How cozy to overnight in a place like that. She was trying to enjoy herself for her birthday and then tragedy.

    Another missing woman, Sam Sayers went hiking alone August 2018 in WA, Northern Cascades, doing something she loved as well. She has not been found either.
     
  5. PaulR

    PaulR Verified Software and Computer Tech

    Messages:
    3,082
    Likes Received:
    9,644
    Trophy Points:
    113
    It's getting late in the year to make hikes like this, hitting higher elevations.
     
  6. kae27

    kae27 Active Member

    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    130
    Trophy Points:
    33
    Absolutely. We've had an especially early snowfall in the Cascades this year as well, making it even more treacherous. I've hiked up to the Hidden Lake lookout before. It is not anything close to an easy hike even in ideal conditions. Certainly well worth the effort, but not at this time of year. My heart breaks for her and her family. As someone mentioned above, her family has been incredibly gracious and lovely. We do have a forecast for sunny weather over the next week, so hopefully answers will come.
     
  7. SpanishMossAntiques

    SpanishMossAntiques Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    662
    Likes Received:
    2,132
    Trophy Points:
    93
    A while back my partner and I wanted to hike up this one mountain - it was late September, so we figured it would be okay. I was working as a park ranger then myself, and she was actually one of our dispatchers there so we were pretty experienced. It looked like the perfect day to hike to the summit - partially overcast, maybe 50 degrees or so, we checked the weather and there was rain south of us in the low elevations, but that was it. On the trail we decided to stop in the ranger station (like we would always do wherever we did any serious hiking) to register our hike (in case we went missing), get some solid advice as maps/GPS can be wrong or at least have some quirks, and to make sure the weather would hold. The ranger said to us, "you shouldn't go more than 5 miles out, to the marked shelter at that point, and then turn around - we're expecting a major snowstorm; the news isn't saying it, but up here we monitor the weather carefully and we are confident it's going to be a white-out blizzard that would hit you guys before you made it back down". Thank God we checked-in and asked! We instead had her take some pics of us at the ranger station, we donated some money to the local mountain club who cleaned the trails, and we headed back to our hotel. Sure enough that night the mountain received something like 30" of snow near the peak, and several people were trapped in it. Even when I hike someplace like the Grand Canyon etc I still check in with the rangers - where I worked we monitored EVERYTHING; from weather, lightning, fog, winds, trail conditions, road conditions, etc. ADVICE: If you do get lost, stay where you are for as long as you can - especially if you have made some kind of contact for help. So often I'd get a call for lost hikers - I knew exactly where they would be and would head out there on my ATV. It would take around 45 minutes minimum to get to most who were lost, and in that time they'd walk away. UGH! Then I'd be on a wild goose chase, hoping to find them before nightfall. When I'd finally find the lost hikers they'd say to me, "I didn't think anyone was coming to help us". Dude, you called for help, and helping people is our full-time job. When you call and state you're in trouble, a lot of things start happening on the ranger's end - from mapping, to weather, to assessing possibility for injuries and getting the right supplies together, making sure my rescue ATV has a full-tank of gas and 40 extra gallons, getting the additional lighting I'd need (i.e., portable floodlights), to the night-vision equipment, to readying the drones, etc. When we'd get a call that someone was lost and needs help that call took priority over everything - everything. The entire team would be involved; we'd even have to call the head ranger if he was off-duty at home to let him know, we'd notify local emergency services that we may be returning from the woods with an injured person to be on stand-by, etc...
     
  8. JerseyGirl

    JerseyGirl Forum Coordinator Staff Member Forum Coordinators

    Messages:
    47,257
    Likes Received:
    142,537
    Trophy Points:
    113
  9. MaryLamb

    MaryLamb Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    312
    Trophy Points:
    53
    I ran across this hiking video from a couple who hiked Hidden Lookout Peak in snow on a beautiful sunny day. They had to turn back before the scramble to the lookout because of the conditions. I don’t think I would be comfortable doing this hike alone an I can see how she might have gotten off trail.
     
  10. Gardener1850

    Gardener1850 Timeline Guru (Still Remembering Cupcake)

    Messages:
    42,124
    Likes Received:
    115,202
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Rachel has been added to NAMUS: The National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs)

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Circumstances
    Date of Last Contact October 17, 2019
    NamUs Case Created October 29, 2019
    Last Known Location Map
    Location Marblemount, Washington 98267
    Skagit County


    Circumstances of Disappearance

    On 10/17/2019, Rachel Lakoduk began hiking Hidden Lake trail with the intention of returning the next day. Lakoduk did not return. Search and rescue efforts lasted over one week.

    :(
     
  11. 10ofRods

    10ofRods Verified Anthropologist

    Messages:
    9,828
    Likes Received:
    127,351
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Devastating.

    If there were a fund to buy GPS beacons for solo hikers in mountain areas (it could be some kind of quick ship, then they ship 'em back) that would be great. They're too expensive for so many young people. I totally understand her desire to celebrate her birthday with a trip like that.
     
  12. CrimeDawg123

    CrimeDawg123 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,318
    Likes Received:
    19,165
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Thank you so much for this very informative post. Very interesting to hear from your perspective!
     
  13. sasha17

    sasha17 Curiouser & curiouser

    Messages:
    1,808
    Likes Received:
    5,652
    Trophy Points:
    113
    From the Sheriff's office: "We have heard there are plans for private searching activities this weekend. This will interfere with our Search and Rescue making another attempt, specifically we will not be able to send teams in because of the increased dangers this could be impose. If you know of anyone planning such activities, please advise them."

    [​IMG]

    Skagit County Sheriff's Office
     
  14. sasha17

    sasha17 Curiouser & curiouser

    Messages:
    1,808
    Likes Received:
    5,652
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Some of you may remember the local camo-wearing search and rescue "expert" who got himself heavily involved in the search for Samantha Sayers. I won't link to it here but his "organization" Facebook page has several posts about Rachel and his opinion. It appears he was (is?) in contact with Rachel's family. JMO, but I find this predatory and strange. Sigh.
     
  15. zecats

    zecats Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,596
    Likes Received:
    60,350
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Oh dear..Not again. And besides, she was never found, so he was not helpful. JMO
     
  16. SpanishMossAntiques

    SpanishMossAntiques Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    662
    Likes Received:
    2,132
    Trophy Points:
    93
    PLB's (Personal Locator beacon) devices are around $50 to around 200 (for the professional ones) - but worth every penny. Whenever I go out on a boat or ship I wear mine, and same when I'm in the mountains, desert, or in remote areas. Here's an example of a more affordable PLB: You are being redirected...
     
  17. JerseyGirl

    JerseyGirl Forum Coordinator Staff Member Forum Coordinators

    Messages:
    47,257
    Likes Received:
    142,537
    Trophy Points:
    113
  18. K9Enzo

    K9Enzo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,394
    Likes Received:
    40,451
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I am very sorry to hear Rachel has not been recovered yet.

    The Sheriff's office is being serious about private searches. It's a tough one for sure because the family is desperate and I don't blame them.

    There are always those "SAR" groups ready on the sidelines (think ambulance chasers). They reach out to the families with stories of how they want to help but can't by LE. They usually show up with egos, large flashy decals on their vehicles, large antenna's sticking out, etc. I have even seen one group wearing all black like they are special ops. They scared the heck out of people stalking in the woods. Then you have the folks that come out with their pet dogs because they watch a lot of TV and now know how to search. It really can be a nightmare.

    There is a reason LE calls upon trusted SAR groups. They also don't want these folks to become part of the missing and needing to be rescued themselves.

    On a side note: I'm aware of the one gentlemen who has offered to help. I will give him this, he knows those mountains and terrain. However, his approach is all wrong, the information he gives out is all wrong. He unfortunately has a reputation and does not present himself as serious or professional. I do believe he means well.
     
    TatianaBarbie, Rhenish, Suglo and 3 others like this.
  19. GuyfromCanada

    GuyfromCanada Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,995
    Likes Received:
    28,228
    Trophy Points:
    113
  20. Wild Rose

    Wild Rose Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,042
    Likes Received:
    6,932
    Trophy Points:
    113
    That is a ton of prep, had no idea....thank you for all you do as a ranger.
     
    Suglo and broadviewren like this.

Share This Page



  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice