Hiker Rescued In Columbia River Gorge

Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue (MCSOSAR) located the stranded hiker around 4 p.m., Monday, May 2. The hiker, a 51-year-old man, was suffering effects of mild hypothermia, but was able to communicate and walk with rescue crews. The hiker was found near Munra Point; the trail to Munra Point is not an official trail and is not maintained. SAR members reported the trail to be in extremely poor shape, steep, slippery, dangerous and very difficult to follow.

SAR members carefully walked with the hiker down to I-84, where an ambulance was waiting. The 51-year-old was evaluated and was in good condition. He declined being transported to the hospital. 

The hiker told deputies he left Sunday to go for a hike. He was not familiar with the trail. He reported that after a few hours, he lost sight of the trail and became disoriented. He began working his way down the hillside until he could not go any further due to sheer cliffs. The hiker said he was only wearing flip-flop sandals, which came off during his descent. The hiker said his cell phone battery also died. He told deputies he decided to light a small warming fire and shelter in place for the night. In the morning, the fire's smoke caught the attention of a worker at the Bonneville Dam, who reported the sighting to another employee. That employee is also a member of the Hood River Crag Rats. The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office was subsequently notified.

We want to thank the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue team, the Hood River Crag Rats, Gresham Police Department, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for their assistance during Monday’s search and rescue mission.

This operation was the second search and rescue mission in the Columbia River Gorge during a 24-hour period. 

On Sunday, May 1, around 4:30 p.m., MCSOSAR responded to Larch Mountain, east of Corbett. A 25-year-old hiker used a personal locator beacon (PLB) to notify first responders he was not prepared for deep snow and needed rescue. Around 9 p.m., SAR members reached the hiker, who was in good condition, and helped him back to the staging location.

Despite spring-like weather, many trails above 3,000 feet in elevation are still snow-covered and have not been cleared or maintained since last fall. Before you leave home, it is suggested that you always carry a first aid kit in your car and bring the Ten Essentials with you on the trail, even if you are only going out for the day.

Ten Essentials for hiking:

  • Navigation: map, compass, altimeter, GPS device, personal locator beacon (PLB) or satellite messenger
  • Headlamp or flashlight: plus, extra batteries
  • Sun protection: sunglasses, sun-protective clothes and sunscreen
  • First aid: including foot care and insect repellent (as needed)
  • Knife: plus, a gear repair kit
  • Fire: matches, lighter, tinder and/or stove
  • Shelter: carried at all times, (can be a light emergency bivvy)
  • Extra food: Beyond the minimum expectation
  • Extra water: Beyond the minimum expectation
  • Extra clothes: Beyond the minimum expectation

In both SAR missions, not wearing appropriate clothing or footwear were factors in necessitating rescue. Please be prepared to encounter all conditions in the outdoors.

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