PMR Aids in Search for Missing Hikers at Angels Rest
Sunday Nov 4th, 2007 

In the early morning hours Sunday, November 4th, 2007, Multnomah County Sheriffs Office requested the assistance of Portland Mountain Rescue in the search of two missing hikers in the Angels Rest area of the Columbia River Gorge. The two had hiked to Angels Rest viewpoint as a day-hike and then intended to continue to along the trail system towards the east to Devils Rest. The trail connecting these destinations follows a ridge about 1,500 feet above the Gorge Highway. It was reported that at some point along this trail the two had decided to take a shortcut to the road below and proceed off-trail down one of the drainage gullies. During their ambitious off-trail excursion, they became disoriented, faced challenging creek crossings, dense underbrush, steep terrain and ended up in a position on a cliff face near a waterfall in which they could not safely continue ascending or descending in the failing light. As the day turned into night, the pair made a final cell phone call requesting rescue before their phone battery died.

Saturday evening Multnomah County inserted their county Search And Rescue team, who initiated searching the upper trail systems and upper reaches of some of the drainages. PMR entered the field at approximately 5:30 Sunday morning to supplement the existing County SAR team by providing technical high-angle resources capable of accessing and searching the hazardous and steep terrain where the missing hikers may be located. As SAR teams searched the several drainages in the area, the two hikers were able to take advantage of the Sunday morning daylight and self-rescue, reaching the Gorge Highway by mid-morning. Following a long night in the wilderness, for which they were not prepared for, the two hikers were found cold and tired but otherwise uninjured.