News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Lost hiker rescued on South Sister

A search and rescue team came to the aid of a lone hiker who got lost descending South Sisters last Friday.

Deputy Donny Patterson, assistant search and rescue coordinator, reported that on September 30, at 4:18 p.m., the Deschutes County 911 Dispatch Center received a 911 call from a lost hiker who was descending South Sister. The caller, a 61-year-old woman from Springfield, Oregon, was hiking alone at the time with her dog when she inadvertently left the climbers trail and soon became disoriented.

The 911 call was broken mid-conversation due to a lack of cell coverage in that area.

A special services deputy assigned to Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue (SAR) attempted to contact the lost hiker several times by phone and text, without success. A cell phone ping also failed.

Over an hour later, a second 911 call came in from the South Sister area. The call was received by Klamath County 911 Dispatch Center. This call was also limited in duration due to poor cell service; however, the caller’s information was the same. The caller was able to relay that she had some food, water, an extra cell phone battery, and warm clothes. She reported that she had lost contact with another person in her hiking party, and she could not find the South Sister Climbers Trail.

A team was already assembling as SAR attempted to make phone contact. AirLink was also contacted and they volunteered to assist the Sheriff’s Office with an aerial search, as daylight was rapidly diminishing.

A dozen SAR volunteers responded to the call, AirLink was able to locate the lost female in the area of the Le Conte Crater Trail (southwest of South Sister) and provide SAR volunteers with her GPS coordinates.

At approximately 6:30 p.m., two SAR teams departed the SAR team office toward Devils Lake to access the South Sister Climbers Trail. At approximately 7:15 p.m., SAR volunteers began to hike into the area to locate the lost hiker. At approximately 8:12 p.m., SAR volunteers made contact with the lost hiker and walked her back out of the area, where she was reunited with her hiking partner at the Devils Lake trailhead.


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