CASCADE MOUNTAIN RANGE, Wash. — A recent massive rock slide in the North Cascades mountain that could have posed a fatal threat to local hikers was caught on camera, serving as a reminder of the treacherous conditions that can exist in the back country for those getting up close and personal with Mother Nature.
No injuries were reported during the incident, which occurred Sunday on Aasgard Pass, a popular but grueling hike in the Enchantments near Leavenworth. The rock slide involved boulders that were the size of small automobiles, the video footage shows.
Guido Davico, who lives in Washington state, and his brother, Ezequiel, who was visiting from Colorado, were determined to hike up the pass before the slide was reported. Guido Davico was fishing in Colchuck Lake, and his brother was standing on a ledge above him when the slide occurred.
For almost a mile, the rocks tumbled downhill, crushing everything in their path and leaving a cloud of dust in their wake.
Ezequiel Davico captured the slide on his camera, but the pair decided to travel to the Oregon coast to continue their vacation together after the incident.
Jen Brenes, the president of the King County Search and Rescue Association, said the video was a sight to see.
“Yeah, those are some pretty big boulders," she said, adding that people who engage in hiking should be mindful of the dangers that exist. “Mother Nature is as beautiful as she is powerful. Every year we think it’s getting crazy, and it gets a little crazier. We are definitely seeing our rescues pick up pace."
The association performed 225 rescue missions last year in King County, setting a new record for the group as it surpassed its previous benchmark of 170 rescues that was set in 2019.
Brenes said the recent hot weather and its earlier arrival this season has translated to hiking hazards occurring sooner than in prior years.
“Rapid snowmelt, which is very unusual compared to what we normally see, snow bridges collapsing, waters are extremely fast right now and terrain features are changing a lot,” she said.
Other adventure seekers said they had definite goals in mind for their trek.
“Just make it to the top and back,” said Zach England, who lives in Bellevue while out hiking with a relative, Pam Herman of Kirkland.
I haven’t seen anything like that before," England said after watching the video footage of the rock slide. "That’s big.”
To stay safe, Brenes advises people to be mindful of their surroundings. She said most hiker seem to understand they need the 10 essentials and to research trail conditions and expectations, but the biggest mistake many hikers make is not leaving a trip plan behind.
“We’ve had a lot of rescues lately of folks overdue by several days before they were reported missing," Brenes said. "That means we are several days behind in finding them.”
The association has launched a new app that allows hikers see where cell coverage is available in the back country, and allows the person to send a notification if they are overdue from their excursion.