4/15/2014 1:12:00 PM Lost backcountry
skiers found safe
Four backcountry skiers were found safe after getting lost in the Three Sisters Wilderness last week.
On the afternoon of April 10, at 3:11 p.m., Deschutes County 911 received a call from a group of four skiers who had been part of a larger group skiing the Hayden Glacier, on the northeastern flank of Middle Sister. The skiers got separated from the main group on their way back down to Pole Creek Trailhead, where their car was parked.
The members of the group were not familiar with the area and were asking for help.
GPS coordinates received from the 911 call placed them less than one-quarter mile away from Forest Service Road 1526. Search-and-rescue personnel asked the group to move to this road and responding forest patrol deputies would pick them up.
However, as the group descended towards F.S. Road 1526, cell phone contact with the group was lost. The group managed to cross the 1526 and continued descending to F.S. Road 1514 at the Whychus Creek bridge crossing.
Intermittent cell phone reception allowed for brief communication of the group's location to search-and-rescue. The group was located at 6:20 p.m. and brought back to their vehicle at Pole Creek Trailhead.
The group members were tired after a longer-than-intended hike out, but aside from a few blisters, were uninjured. The members of the group were grateful for the ride back to their vehicle.
Deputy Liam Klatt, assistant SAR coordinator, noted: "The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the group was properly equipped for the conditions and did not delay their call for assistance once they recognized they needed help. Their decision to call 911 early greatly simplified the search efforts and contributed to a positive outcome."