PMR Rescues Stranded Snowshoers Near Mirror Lake
Sunday, February 17, 2002
 
Late Sunday evening, Portland Mountain Rescue located and escorted two snowshoers and their dog to safety near Mount Hood's Mirror Lake.
 
The man and woman, along with their pet, were snowshoeing off-trail along a bluff overlooking Camp Creek (a tributary of the Sandy River) when darkness fell and prevented them from hiking out on their own.
 
During the day, the hikers had descended about 300 vertical feet below the main Mirror Lake Trail and traveled to an area known as Yocum Falls.  Evidently, they were unwilling to scale the steep hillside back to the trail and the fading light prevented them from retracing their descent path.  The couple did not have flashlights or headlamps.
 
Fortunately, the man did have a cellular phone and contacted the Clackamas County Sheriff, who later requested help from Portland Mountain Rescue.  Ironically, the pair could be seen from the trailhead at U.S. Highway 26, where Sheriff's Deputies setup base operations.
 
Seven members of PMR, many exhausted from a long search at Mount Bachelor, assembled at the Mirror Lake Sno-Park about two hours after sunset.  The team followed a trail of snowshoe tracks to a portion of the steep hillside directly above the stranded hikers.  Rescuers then quickly made verbal contact with the couple.
 
The PMR team descended the steep pitch, located the subjects and carefully escorted the pair and their dog up the hillside to the main trail.  Following a short hike, the group reached the safety of the trailhead around 10:00pm PST.
 
[Portland Mountain Rescue would like to remind all day hikers to be prepared for adverse situations and the possibility of becoming stranded.  At minimum, hikers should carry a cell phone, flashlights or headlamps, extra clothing and enough food and water for (at least) an additional day in the wilderness.  It is also a great idea to carry a whistle, trail map and compass.  Day hiking can quickly turn into an overnight bivouac if poor weather, injury or other unfortunate circumstances occur.]