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Navy team rescues climbers caught on 8,800-foot ‘Forbidden Peak’

A search-and-rescue team from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island successfully rescued two climbers stuck on an 8,800-foot peak in the North Cascades in the dead of night.

The five-person SAR team received the call late Tuesday evening and arrived at the location just before midnight. The climbers were waiting near a vertical rock face at the base of a snow shoot on a summit called Forbidden Peak.

The SAR team made several passes over the peak to ensure they could safely airlift the climbers in the challenging altitude and temperature.

The climbers were transported in a MH-60S helicopter to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

The Forbidden Peak rescue marked the 11th mission for the NAS Whidbey Island SAR team this year. The unit is authorized to perform civilian search-and-rescue and medical evacuation operations so long as they do not interfere with primary military duties.

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