What we do

Bellingham Mountain Rescue Council, Inc.

P.O. Box 292
Bellingham, WA 98227


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Who we are:

We are a membership comprised of roughly 45 volunteers from Whatcom County that come from a variety of backgrounds but share some common threads. We are all avid backcountry users that believe in helping other backcountry users during times of difficulty. We are backcountry skiers, climbers, mountaineers, and first responders.

What we do:

Bellingham Mountain Rescue is dispatched by the sheriff’s office to provide first response and rescue in our rugged corner of the North Cascades. This includes areas such as Mt. Baker, Mt. Shuksan, the Twin Sisters range, and the remote Picket Range. This also includes the more frequented venues along the highway 542 corridor, such as the backcountry immediately adjacent to Mt. Baker ski area. We are mission ready 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in all seasons and during all weather conditions. We often work alongside outside agencies that may have additional resources for rescue such as the U.S Navy, Homeland Security, and Snohomish County’s helicopter rescue team.

How it works: 

A call to 911 is connected to the Whatcom County Sheriff’s office SAR Coordinator and sets in motion an organized series of events. The Sheriff’s coordinator contacts BMRC Operations Leaders, who in turn organize the operation. Unit members are paged using the latest technology and a team is committed. Team members provide all their own equipment and arrange their own transportation or coordinate at the Search and Rescue Building on Smith Road. An operation base is usually established at a trailhead, where the SAR vehicles are waiting with radios, first aid supplies, litters and other specialized rescue equipment.

In addition to rescue activities, Council members conduct outdoor safety education programs and train extensively.

Bellingham Mountain Rescue Council’s annual budget comes entirely from individual donations and United Way funding.

BMRC Statistics at a Glance:

Average number of missions per year: 12

Number of membership meetings per year: 11

Average number of trainings per year: 10

Average number of outreach and fundraising opportunities per year: 5

Committee and administrative tasks: numerous