PMR Assists in Rescue of Missing Cross Country Skiers
Sunday, March 24, 2002
Early Sunday morning, Portland Mountain Rescue entered into its
third mission in under 16 hours! The Clackamas County Sheriff
summoned PMR to join the search for two missing cross country skiers
on the South Side of Mount Hood near the town of Government Camp.
A man from Portland and his female companion from Japan were
reported missing after they did not return from a Saturday ski
outing. The couple had become stranded on the Yellow Jacket
Trail, about 1-1/2 miles from the Snow Bunny trailhead, after the
woman injured her ankle and knee. The skiers spent the night
on the mountain in a makeshift snow cave and tried in vain to walk
out in the morning.
Fortunately, a local ski rental shop alerted the
Sheriff when the couple failed to return their skis Saturday
evening. Search coordinators surmised that they were not in
the direct vicinity of Government Camp and concentrated the search
effort on the cross country ski trails closer to the Snow Bunny ski area.
Approximately 3 hours into the mission, Mount Hood Nordic Ski Patrol
located the subjects and, with the help of a PMR team, stabilized
the mildly hypothermic subjects. A second PMR team arrived a
short time later to deliver snowshoes, as the couple were not in
sufficient condition to ski out of the wilderness.
The PMR and Ski Patrol teams escorted the man and woman on a 1/2
mile hike to a waiting Sno-Cat that transported them the remaining
distance to the Snow Bunny trailhead. A team from American
Medical Response provided medical care for their injuries on the scene.
A total of 13 PMR volunteers participated in the mission.