PMR Finds Missing Timber Worker in Remote Canyon
Saturday, March 4, 2006
 
Saturday afternoon, a Portland Mountain Rescue search team found a missing timber worker who had been lost in the remote terrain of the Warm Springs Indian Reservation east of Oregon's Mount Jefferson.
 
The worker, a "timber cruiser," had been marking trees for future logging when she became separated from her two-person team and disoriented. Unable to find her way back to the vehicle, the worker wandered the wilderness for two days, eventually ending up in the rugged Shitike Creek Canyon.  The subject built a fire to endure frigid overnight temperatures, reaching as low as 18 degrees on Saturday morning. Shitike Canyon
Satellite view of Shitike Canyon in the Warm Springs Indian Reservation
 
Two three-person PMR search teams joined other teams from Pacific Northwest Search and Rescue, the Deschutes County Search and Rescue Team and the Multnomah County Explorer Post No. 631.
 
One of the PMR teams ended up at Shitike Creek Canyon and, to better cover the vast territory, the team sent each searcher into a different level of the canyon -- on the plateau, in the middle of the canyon and near the bottom of the canyon.  While calling out the subject's name, PMR rescuer Maria Nelson heard an audible "help" coming from near her location.  Shortly after, Nelson found the woman, who was warming her feet in the sunshine at her impromtu campsite.
 
The PMR team then helped the relatively uninjured subject walk out of the canyon and brought her back to safety.
 
Fortunately, when the timber worker realized she was lost, she stayed in the same location, used basic survival skills, such as creating a fire, and waited for rescue.  Many persons continue wandering while lost, making the search area extremely large.  In this case, the subject kept the search area small by remaining in the same general area where she disappeared.