Honors for 3 men after Sequoia National Park rescue efforts
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Park Rangers from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks recognized three South Valley men for their efforts to save a woman trapped under several feet of snow. On June 14, a run through the Mineral King area of Sequoia National Park almost cost a Squaw Valley woman her life.
Marcia Rasmussen was training for an ultra-marathon when a snow bridge collapsed, sending her into the frigid waters below. "One moment I'm on top of the snow, the next I'm in the water. Underwater. I wasn't aware of falling. I was just suddenly in the water. Very, very, scary," said Rasmussen.
For the next three hours, Marcia was trapped in a snow tunnel, buried several feet under. Marcia began digging and eventually lost the feeling of her hands as well as energy. After breaking through the snow, she managed to stuff her hydration pack onto the surface. It was an S.O.S. that eventually saved her. "It wasn't there before. It stuck out like a sore thumb. I was like, where'd this come from?" said hiker Stefan Barychi, who noticed the hydration pack sitting on the snow.
Barycki, along with friends Mike Voyles and Chris Edwards, just happened to be on that same trail. After seeing Marcia below, they also started digging. "It was a pretty quick instinct. Just grab her and pull her out. And we just immediately sat down with her," said Voyles.
Marcia was hypothermic and suffered from frostbite, but survived. "So many things had to go right to get me out of there. I really didn't expect to survive the situation. I was trying not to think those thoughts but the odds were incredibly against me," said Rasmussen.
"You can call it fate. You can call it luck, whatever your religious beliefs are. We actually, Mike flipped a rock to see where we were going," said Edwards. As the three hikers were honored Wednesday, they said that rock flip led them to the Franklin Creek and eventually, Marcia. A twist of fate that has left her feeling very lucky and grateful.
sequoia national park, local, amanda perez
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