20C07117 - Injured Climber Rescued

Sheriff Brian Burnett reports an injured climber was rescued from Mount Stuart late Tuesday evening.

At 12:28pm Tuesday, the KITTCOM emergency dispatch center in Ellensburg, WA received a 911 call from a Pete Schoepke (43yoa) who stated he had fallen approximately 100 feet while descending the Cascadian Couloir route off the southeast aspect of the mountain.  Schoepke reported he had an open compound fracture to his left lower leg.  He was by himself on the mountain.

The information was forwarded to Chelan County Sheriff’s Office search and rescue coordinators.  A hoist capable helicopter was requested via State Emergency Management.  Naval Air Base Whidbey Island accepted the mission. SAR coordinators were able to communicate with Schoepke directly via text messaging while the rescue was being organized.

Due to winds and low clouds in the area of Schoepke at the 8.645ft elevation level on the mountain, the Navy rescue crew was initially only able to insert two medic corpsman below scene who made their way to the patient.  After several hours waiting for a better weather window, the Navy helicopter crew determined  the weather was not clearing and it may be necessary to lower Schoepke to a more accessible location below the cloud cover.  Three Chelan County Mountain Rescue CCMR) personnel were staged at Pangborn Airport in East Wenatchee.  The team was picked up by the Navy rescue Blackhawk, flown to Mount Stuart and nserted to a location below the patient.  

At approximately 8:30pm, after completing the insertion of the CCMR team, the Navy crew observed a brief break in the weather.  The pilot and crew were able to conduct a successful hoist extraction of Scheopke and the two Navy medics.

Schoepke was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, WA for treatment.  The Navy received approval to fly back to Mount Stuart to remove the three Chelan County Mountain Rescue members and fly them back to Pangborn Airport.  Schoepke is in serious but stable condition at Harborview.  He resides in Portland, Oregon. 

Inquiries concerning this media release may be made to Sergeant Kent Sisson at the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office (509)667-6864



Last Updated: 07/08/2020 07:40 AM

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