Two women who went missing while hiking through The Enchantments over the weekend were found Monday evening in good condition — after surviving by rationing their food and keeping warm with extra clothing, according to a statement from the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office.
Rescue teams found the hikers — 21-year-old Hope Ryan and 23-year-old Kristen Jost, both from Snohomish — near Earle Lake just after 8 p.m. Monday, the statement said. They had been missing since Saturday evening.
Ryan and Jost were attempting to complete a thru-hike of The Enchantments Trail in one day, a roughly 20-mile trek through the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, and were expected to be done Saturday evening, The Wenatchee World reported. When they weren’t back by late Sunday morning, family members reported them missing.
Search teams reached out to dozens of hikers on the trail, the statement said, but the majority of them hadn’t seen the two women.
On Sunday evening, a couple who had hiked out of The Enchantments by taking a route near Earle Lake told sheriff’s officials they had seen two hikers who matched Ryan’s and Jost’s descriptions near the lake around noon earlier that day, the statement said.
On Monday, five more search teams were sent out on the trail, set to focus on the Earle Lake basin. They found Ryan and Jost near the lake “in good physical condition after spending three days in the wilderness with very limited supplies,” the statement said.
Ryan and Jost told the rescue team they mistakenly turned north off the main Snow Lakes trail while in the core of The Enchantments. They eventually realized they were lost by late Saturday, and decided to stay in the Earle Lake area hoping for rescue, the statement said.
This was the second search and rescue on The Enchantments Trail in less than a week, according to The Wenatchee World. Last week, a woman was airlifted from the trail after showing symptoms of heatstroke.