Guest column: Faces of Lewis County Search and Rescue a welcome sight after night alone in the woods

Saturday, August 17, 2013 at 9:11 pm

By Lois Bancroft
White Salmon, Wash.

I wish to thank the members of the search and rescue team who found me near Walupt Creek Falls in the forest south of Packwood on Aug. 3.

I had hiked to the falls the day before and achieved my goal of getting some awesome photographs from the base of the waterfalls.


Lois Bancroft

It was supposed to be just a day trip from my home in Klickitat County.

But at some point in walking out, I became lost. I couldn’t find the ribbons my friend had tied to trees just the week before. By 7 p.m. I gave up hope of finding the route back to my car.

I layed down in the trail covered by my space blanket. Then, I thought, why not put on my head lamp and use my flashlight to continue down the trail. I was not aware at the time that I was getting farther and farther away from where I had originally crossed the river.

I also began losing the trail. Then I slipped on something and rolled and somersaulted about 25 feet down a hill.

I was in pain, but clawed my way back up to a point where I could inspect my injuries. I dressed my open wound, figured I had broken some ribs. It turns out three were fractured and I sprained both ankles. My whole chest hurt.

At that point it was dark and I found the most level area I could and spent the next four to five hours shivering, waiting for dawn at 4 a.m.

I then resumed, walking the wrong way down the hill. When I got to the river I layed down on a sandy spot for a rest. Then at 6 p.m., I looked up from my task of finding sticks to point the way to where I planned to camp for the second night and saw some people.

They were the rescue team. I will be forever grateful to them. I only remember two names: Sue on the rescue team and Bat who had the horse that I rode out on.

There were many people looking for me, including Lewis County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Brady Taylor. I wish I could thank you all personally by name but please know your faces will always be in my memory.

Lois Bancroft
White Salmon, Wash.

Bancroft, 66, often hikes into the backwoods to take pictures of waterfalls.

Her husband Bob Connor said she is a professional photographer; she says she is not, that she only wants to capture photos worthy of a professional.

Conner, a retired volunteer firefighter, couldn’t heap enough praise onto the Lewis County Search and Rescue team, Deputy Taylor and the 911 dispatchers he said were kind, courteous and kept him informed all day long.

Bancroft shared a shot of the falls she brought home from her “day trip”.


Walupt Creek Falls on August 2, 2013 / By Lois Bancroft


4 Responses to “Guest column: Faces of Lewis County Search and Rescue a welcome sight after night alone in the woods”

  1. Ford Galaxy 500 says:

    Glad for the happy ending:-)

  2. BobbyinLC says:

    This is an example of being prepared to go into the woods. This woman had a space blanket and awareness. Nevr go into the woods alone with telling someone where you plan to start from and which direction to head. Even a day trip can turn tragic quickly. I am glad this worked out for her. I also agree that the Search and Rescue in Lewis County is awesome.

  3. Free Air says:

    What a wonderful ending!

    Thanks for the telling of your misadventure.
    Glad everything turned out all right!

  4. Erin Gordon says:

    I am so happy to hear the happy ending of what must have been a horrible night. That picture is beautiful.

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