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Jack Hughes on 2000 Olympic Search












In 2017, I had an email exchange with retired ranger Jack Hughes, a longtime Olympic National Park employee. He gave me more specifics on the rescue, for which he still had very good information:

Hello: Thanks for the memories ! I was involved in a lot of searches in that area – including one for me when our search helicopter crashed in Cat Creek in 1975 !

As for the location of the sos : I call it the ZOS – the log you used to start the message with smaller objects made it look like a ” Z”. But I knew what you meant. We had been flying in that area most of that day. Ground searchers in Cat Creek had found some objects that you dropped. Late that day we were flying the Ridge line when I caught sight of something out of place in the ZOS cirque. It was a bit tricky to fly in there, but we did it and confirmed it was recent. From there we followed the line of the very steep (as you know) creek into Schoeffel Creek. It did not take long to locate you waving on the big rock.

Hiking out of that creek is very difficult and landing there is not good with all the big rocks. I decided to request a Hoist and you remember how that worked out.

As for the location: IT is on the out of print 1956 Mt Olympus 15 min Quad. But it is on the “CUSTOM CORRECT” “SEVEN LAKES BASIN – HOH” map. These are available in many outdoor stores. I get the location at close to North Latitude 4753111 Degrees. Custom correct uses the plates from the USGS.

Just lay a ruler across the map at that location and where it crosses the Cat – Schoeffel divide is very close. The cirque shows just above the 4000′ contour.

Regarding landing a helicopter there: that would be very illegal . Even flying low in any aircraft is Illegal. 

A fixed wing charter from the local flying service over that area would be inexpensive and rewarding…For now Regards.. Jack

Hello..Correction: the Lat Long should be: 47 56 8.67 N X 123 41 5.94 W

The UTM is 53 11 North. On the 7 lakes – HOH map findUTM  numbers on the right side. 53 15 on the right side of the map top go dawn to 53 11. it is on both sides of the map. lay the ruler across between the two and just above the line is the ZOS cirque.