Girl, 10, Survives 24 Hours in Washington Mountains

She got separated from a large family group while hiking in the Cascades
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 9, 2023 1:00 AM CDT
Girl, 10, Survives 24 Hours in Washington Mountains
Stock photo of the Cascade Mountains   (Getty Images / pabradyphoto)

While hiking with a large family group in Washington's Cascade Mountains Sunday, 10-year-old Shunghla Mashwani got separated from the rest of her relatives, unable to find the footbridge they crossed. But she says she knew to continue following the river, and the following day, she was located with only minor injuries, the Guardian reports. Authorities say the area where Mashwani was lost is "steep, rugged, and remote, with dense trees and undergrowth," and they praised her resourcefulness, noting that she "spent the cold night between some trees" and survived in the wilderness for more than 24 hours.

She and her extended family were hiking in the Cle Elum River Valley and crossed the pedestrian bridge to eat lunch near the Cathedral Pass Trailhead, CNN reports. But just before arriving at their lunch spot, they realized the girl was missing, and searched for her for two hours before a resident helped them call police to report her missing by using a satellite phone at their cabin. The area has no cell or radio signal. Mashwani was found around 3pm Monday a mile and a half from where she went missing, and rescuers took her down the river by boat back to her family. The family says they enjoy hiking in the backcountry because it reminds them of Afghanistan, which they left for the US two years ago. (Read more Washington state stories.)

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