COUGAR, Wash. – An Ohio man has been found alive on a flank of Mount St. Helens, nearly one week after he set out on a day hike and failed to return, authorities said Wednesday.
Rescuers found Matthew B. Matheny, 40, of Warren, Ohio, on a flank of the volcano in the Cascade Mountains of Washington state, the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office said in an emailed statement.
Matheny was flown to a hospital in a helicopter, but further information about his condition was not immediately available.
Friends last saw Matheny on Aug. 9, when he borrowed a car and headed to Blue Lake Trail on the southwest side of St. Helens. They reported him missing after he failed to return, prompting an extensive search. A sheriff’s deputy found the borrowed Subaru Outback at the trailhead on Saturday.
About 30 search-and-rescue personnel, assisted by helicopters, tracking dogs and a drone operated by the sheriff’s office had been searching for Matheny daily, The Daily News of Longview, Washington, reported. Matheny’s friends and family also have been at the search scene.
Searchers on Tuesday decided to focus on a 1-square-mile area based on cell phone signals and a computer model that sought to predict Matheny’s movements.
Charlie Rosenzweig, chief criminal deputy for Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office, called it “extremely unusual” that someone would survive such an ordeal, the newspaper reported.
According to the Washington Trails Association, Blue Lake Trail is a short walk through meadows and tall fir trees to Blue Lake. Beyond the lake hikers can access other trails and ridges, leading to views of Mount St. Helens and Mount Adams.