Cyclist gets lost evading mountain lion


Last updated 5/31/2022 at Noon

A mountain biker from Switzerland left a forest road to evade a mountain lion and got lost in the snow. Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue responded to assist him. PHOTO PROVIDED

A 56-year-old mountain biker from Switzerland ran into a mountain lion while out cycling in the mountains and woods near Broken Top south of Sisters, and got lost while trying to evade the forest feline. A Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) Search and Rescue team retrieved him.

Deputy Donny Patterson, DCSO assistant search and rescue coordinator, reported that at 5:06 p.m. on Wednesday, May 25, Deschutes County 911 Dispatch Center received a 911 call from a lost mountain bike rider near Broken Top. The rider reported encountering a mountain lion while riding his bike on Forest Service Road 370. When the rider left the trail (that was covered in deep, soft snow) to avoid the cat, he became disoriented, and was unable to reacquire the trail. The rider requested the assistance of the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue team, as he was exhausted and did not feel he could find his way back out to the trail.

Two Search and Rescue volunteers responded to the request and deployed to the area in a tracked ARGO vehicle. The volunteers drove up to the area and located the subject, who was unharmed, at approximately 7:49 p.m. The man was then provided a ride out of the area, though in the process of this rescue the ARGO became stuck in deep, soft snow and could not be winched out.

An additional SAR page was sent out for a snowmobile team to assist with this rescue. Three additional SAR team volunteers responded. Snowmobiles were then transported to Todd Lake and they deployed shortly after their arrival toward the other SAR team members. After reaching the ARGO team both teams worked to free the stuck vehicle.

At approximately 2 a.m., both SAR teams arrived back to their vehicles with the lost subject and they transported him to his vehicle, which was parked at the Cascade Lakes Visitor Center.


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