TraditionalMountaineering Logo - representing the shared 
companionship of the Climb

Home | Information | Photos | Calendar | News | Seminars | Experiences | Questions | Updates | Books | Conditions | Links | Search

  Search this site!
Read more:

Lost Badlands Wilderness hiker calls 911

Hiker lost in foggy Badlands rescued
Became disoriented as darkness fell
By KTVZ.COM news sources
January 27, 2014

A U.S. Forest Service officer and Deschutes County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue volunteers helped a hiker in the Badlands Wilderness Area who called for help Monday evening after she became disoriented and lost in the dense fog blanketing the area east of Bend, officials said.

County 911 dispatchers got a call around 5:30 p.m. from Roxanne Jones, 46, of Bend, seeking help as darkness fell in the area near the Horse Ridge Trailhead, said Sgt. Ronny Dozier, Sheriff’s SAR operations manager.

Five SAR teams made up of 23 volunteers responded to the call, along with three deputies and the Forest Service officer, Dozier said.

Jones stayed in contact with deputies by text message, and around 6:45 p.m., she said she could see the Forest Service officer’s police lights and hear the siren, and safely walked to his location.

Jones said she’d started her hike around 3:30 p.m. and had brought plenty of water and was dressed for the weather.

Dozier said the sheriff’s office wanted to remind all backcountry travelers to prepare for changing weather and taking along a well-charged cell phone, water and other basic needs in case the weather takes a turn for the worse.

KTVZ COMMENTS: Join the discussion…

there is no pleasing people. first they want a bunch of juniper and sage brush preserved as a "wilderness" area. then they want highways and signs through it! don't get me wrong, i enjoy the badlands, especially as a wintertime alternative when higher elevation trails are snowed in, but pushing to get the area designated as wilderness and then wanting signage and a park like setting so you can wander around without preparing with something as simple as a GPS or map and compass and the skills to use them just doesn't sit well with me.

Bend Native
pretty tough to get lost on that postage stamp. maybe a little more preparation is in order. it seems as though people are starting to rely on signs rather than common sense and preparation.

Some people need to stay on the asphalt, sorry. If you are not woodsy pack a compass but learn to use it before endangering yourself! OR just stay on well marked trails, sheeece! We can't afford to put a sign behind every bush or tree either.

officialoldfart > 60yearresident
should be NO signage in a wilderness area, and nothing with wheels of any kind. They went with the Wilderness area designation so they could steal the land from the ATVers.... I was in involved during the whole thing.

For those venturing into the desert, woods, mountains, back roads, etc. Do yourself (and your family) a favor and take the time and attend a Land Navigation or Wilderness Survival Course: learning to use a map and compass! it is an indispensable tool. Don't (just) rely on a GPS/Cell Phone or other electronic devices. Because electronic devices can and do fail at times and batteries die.

You can also die of exposure/hypothermia in summer, just as you can in winter too. Be prepared and mindful of your surroundings, possibility of ever changing weather, never just take-off without letting family/friends know were you are going (give them a detailed map), when you are returning.

There are more than a fair share of those self-proclaimed and so-called "Expert" or "Experienced Hikers" that are now dead. Because they were not prepared for a survival situation and were without the proper equipment, clothing, water & food, etc. or any type of formal survival training.
Copyright 2014 KTVZ. All rights reserved.


What can be learned from this interesting incident?

We have been unable to talk to the confident hiker. Federal HIPPA privacy laws prevent medical personnel, including SAR Volunteer Units, from providing contact information for patients. If Roxanne Jones, 46, of Bend will contact us, we will correct any inaccuracies in our analysis. This is not a 'could-a, would-a, should-a exercise', but a traditional effort to help folks learn valuable lessons from the experiences of others.

Roxanne Jones said she’d started her hike around 3:30 p.m. and had brought plenty of water and was dressed for the weather. This comment implies that she was well Prepared for her solo late afternoon ramble.

I believe that she was not traditionally Prepared for a short hike on primitive trails or off trail in the Oregon Badlands Wilderness area. Read these pages for some basic suggestions about how to "Be Prepared" in 2014: Basic Responsibilities and the individual, seasonal, trip related Ten Essential Systems.

Did she have an $8.00 USGS topo map or equal; Did she carry a $25.00 compass and the simple skills to use them? Did she have a simple GPS? A million Geochachers can't be smarter than folks near Bend Oregon.

Note that she "texted" with SAR. Theoretically, texting takes less battery power than voice contact, but don't worry if you do not own a "smart phone" and are not signed up for added cost "texting". Arrange a simple voice call back schedule with SAR. (Don't call your friends or post on Facebook until your phone dies before you are found! Yes that has happened - read more on this website!). An ordinary simple cell phone may be better in the backcountry.

The Comments posted by readers run from well informed to somewhat uninformed:
"pushing to get the area designated as wilderness and then wanting signage and a park like setting so you can wander around without preparing with something as simple as a GPS or map and compass and the skills to use them just doesn't sit well with me." (Me too! But take topo map and compass and an optional hand held GPS, and learn to use them together. And yes, a smart phone "GPS" with expensive "navigation" program will not work in the Wilderness.)

"Do yourself (and your family) a favor and take the time and attend a Land Navigation or Wilderness Survival Course: learning to use a map and compass! it is an indispensable tool. Don't (just) rely on a GPS/Cell Phone or other electronic devices. Because electronic devices can and do fail at times and batteries die." (Good comment, however, unlike my car which also depends on a battery, handheld GPS units use common AA batteries can be changed out in two or three minutes -and you can carry carry them in your warm pants pocket, next to your femoral artery (98.6).

There are more than a fair share of those self-proclaimed and so-called "Expert" or "Experienced Hikers" that are now dead. Because they were not prepared for a survival situation and were without the proper equipment, clothing, water & food, etc. or any type of formal survival training. (Today's "Survival Training" should focus on exactly how to Be Prepared with the Oregon Statute required Four Basic Responsibilities and the required Ten Essential Systems.


Times have changed!

Note that Roxanne Jones was able to contact 911/SAR by cell phone when she realized that she was lost in dense fog in the Oregon Badlands Wilderness. Cell towers provide service to almost all of the Badlands in the last few years. If you can't connect, try walking to higher ground. Read More here:

Ordinary cell phone coverage has improved, year by year, to the time of this writing in 2014 - see below for "The Rest of the Story". Check your own cell coverage in your favorite backcountry areas. Much of the high desert and the Three Sisters Wilderness is covered by Verizon using CDMA code. The cell phones from other (urban) providers are not able to "see" CDMA towers and will not connect to towers despite deceptive sales claims of "Roaming" access.

Two cell tower connections (pings) are needed to enable the required "triangulation" to provide the FCC required geographic Coordinants to find a patient on a topo map. Talking with a SAR may be better than geographic Coordinants. A good cell phone signal with the right Provider can take the Search out of Search and Rescue.

Each person in a group should carry their own simple personal cell phone.


Map, compass and GPS together

Back country travelers should carry a base plate declination adjustable compass costing $25.00 a $7.00 topo map annotated with the UTM Geographic Coordinant Grid and simple current model Garmin GPS costing as little as $100.00.. A stranded person can take the search out of SAR by simply reading the UTM Geographic Coordinants to the Incident Commander over the cell phone. Consider a $100.00  SPOT-2 Satellite Messenger if cell phone towers may not cover the area you plan to explore.

Read below for some basic suggestions about how to Be Prepared in 2012. Basic Responsibilities and the Ten Essential Systems.

Google each one of these three search phrases from this page:    Best Compass for backcountry     Best topo maps for backcountry     Best GPS for backcountry use    Best cell phone for backcountry use

Millions of ordinary people world wide, use a common $100.00 hand held Garmin eTrex GPS with a topomap and color screen, for geocaching, hiking, hunting, cross country skiing, etc. Most GPS receivers have at least 14 hours of continuous life on two new batteries. Two extra AA batteries can be carried in a warm pants pocket to change out batteries weakened by cold. Lithium batteries withstand the cold much better than "regular" AA batteries.


The rest of the story

Deschutes County Sheriffs Search and Rescue Volunteer Coordinator Al Hornish, a 12 year veteran of DCSAR, stated the following in an interview published on January 26, 2012 in the Bend Oregon Source Weekly: "We have grown a lot over the past decade. The nature of missions has changed as well." "There are more Rescues and less Searches, mostly because of the better technology available." Read More. --Robert Speik, January 26, 2012.

"Wednesday, July 7, 2010, or nearly four months since my fall off Mount Temple
. After so much time, there is much to dwell on. The negatives: the pain of so many fractures, the sleeplessness, the drugs and the messed up things they do to you. It’s easy to get stuck in the negative; yet some part of me is drawn there by some morbid fascination."

"How big am I then? Not very. I made a mistake, a pretty small mistake. Or more honestly, I made a series of pretty small mistakes. I almost died for these transgressions. I would have died if it had not been for a cell phone and the chain of events it was able to put into motion. (I’ve owned a cell phone for barely six years.) I might not have died that very day, March 25, 2010, but from where we were, we were a long, long way from the medical care my injuries demanded: a trained trauma surgeon in an Emergency Room. Perhaps I would have lasted one night. Maybe not. It changes my perspective about what a day means. Carpe diem no longer seems some frat-boy cry to party. Today, means everything." --Steve House


Here are some Basic suggestions for each backcountry traveler

1. Practice the Four Basic Responsibilities of the Backcountry Traveler. They work!  Basic Responsibilities

2. Carry the new Ten Essential Systems, sized for the forecast weather and the adventure in a light day pack. This includes a map, compass and GPS and the skills to use them. In the winter, this includes enough extra insulation and waterproof clothing to keep you dry and warm if you become stranded. In snow, you must have a shovel and insulating pad and the skills to make a shelter in the snow to avoid hypothermia and frost bite damage. It works!  Ten Essential Systems

3. Carry your fully charged digital cell phones and periodically check where they can communicate with any cell towers to assist authorities in triangulating your position from cell tower pings. (Most cell providers do not use internal cell phone GPS radio signals to locate customers under FCC E911 regulations - they use triangulation). Cold disables batteries. Use Lithium batteries all year around. If the weather is cold, carry the cell phone in a pants pocket near the femoral artery. Report your UTM NAD27 coordinates from your quad topo maps and you GPS, your condition, the conditions where you are and discuss your plans with SAR.  Ordinary Cell Phones   If you are adventurous and often may be out of cell tower range, carry a $100.00 SPOT.  SPOT-2 Satellite Messenger

4. Always stay found on your topo map and be aware of major land features. If visibility starts to wane, reconfirm your bearings with your map, compass and GPS and quickly return to a known location. A GPS is the only practical way for a trained individual to navigate in a whiteout or blowing snow.  Lost Mt Hood Climbers


A suggested minimum standard news advisory for all backcountry travelers!

"We would like to take this opportunity to ask our visitors to the backcountry of Oregon to Plan for the unexpected. Each person should dress for the forecast weather and take minimum extra clothing to provide protection from a drop in temperature and possible rain or snow storm or an unexpected cold wet night out. Each person should carry high carbohydrate snacks, two quarts of water or Gatorade, a topo map and declination adjusted base plate compass and an optional inexpensive GPS (and the skills to use them together). Each person who has a cell phone should carry their ordinary charged cell phone (from a service provider that has the best local backcountry coverage). An inexpensive SPOT-2 GPS Satellite Communicator is a good additional option for some. Each person should carry their selected items from the new 'Ten Essentials Systems' in a day pack sized for the individual, the trip, the season and the forecast weather."

"Visitors are reminded to tell a Responsible Person where they are going, where they plan to park, when they will be back and to make sure that person understands that they are relied upon to call 911 at a certain time if the backcountry traveler has not returned. Call 911 as soon as you become lost or stranded. You will not be charged. Do not try to find your way, becoming  benighted, exhausted, or worse yet - wet. Your ordinary cell phone call to 911 can take the 'Search' out of Search and Rescue."



"To provide information and instruction about world-wide basic to advanced alpine mountain climbing safety skills and gear, on and off trail hiking, scrambling and light and fast Leave No Trace backpacking techniques based on the foundation of an appreciation for the Stewardship of the Land, all illustrated through photographs and accounts of actual shared mountaineering adventures."

TraditionalMountaineering is founded on the premise that "He who knows naught, knows not that he knows naught", that exploring the hills and summitting peaks have dangers that are hidden to the un-informed and that these inherent risks can be in part, identified and mitigated by mentoring: information, training, wonderful gear, and knowledge gained through the experiences of others.

The value of TraditionalMountaineering to our Friends and Subscribers is the selectivity of the information we provide, and its relevance to introducing folks to informed hiking on the trail, exploring off the trail, mountain travel and Leave-no-Trace light-weight bivy and backpacking, technical travel over steep snow, rock and ice, technical glacier travel and a little technical rock climbing on the way to the summit. Whatever your capabilities and interests, there is a place for everyone in traditional alpine mountaineering.




Mountain climbing has inherent dangers that can, only in part, be mitigated


Read more . . .
Climber rescued from South Sister's east side route
South Sister climber injured, rescued with helicopter
Lost hiker rescued near Horse Lake by SAR
Lost Mt. Bachelor skier rescued at Nordic shelter
FCC requirements for providing mobile phone geographic locations
Four lost in forecast storm on Mt. Rainier
Mt. Rainier snowshoe leader falls, rescued after two days
Climber dies in forecast storm on Mt. Rainier
The Episcopal School Tragedy
SPOT Satellite Messenger "PLB" reviewed and recommended
How do you use your map, compass and GPS together, in a nut shell?
Why is the GSM digital cell phone best for backcountry travel and mountaineering?
How do GSM mobile phones assist mountaineering and backcountry rescues?
FREE Clinic on Real Survival Strategies and Staying Found with Map, Compass and GPS together
Two climbers become lost descending Mt. Hood's standard South Side Route
What do you carry in your winter day and summit pack?
Why are "snowcaves" dangerous?
Why are "Space Blankets" dangerous?
Why are "Emergency Kits" dangerous?
How can you avoid Hypothermia?
Final Report to the American Alpine Club on the loss of three climbers on Mount Hood in December 2006
Missing climbers on Mount Hood, one dies of exposure, two believed killed in fall
Missing California family found, dad dies from exposure and hypothermia
Missing man survives two weeks trapped in snow-covered car
Missing snowmobile riders found, Roger Rouse dies from hypothermia
Olympic Champion Rulon Gardner lost on snowmobile
Lost Olympic hockey player looses feet to cold injury
Expert skier lost five days near resort in North Cascades without map, compass, gps or cell phone
Mount Hood - The Episcopal School Tragedy
Mount Hood - experienced climbers rescued from snow cave
How can you learn the skills of snow camping?   Prospectus

Lost and Found
Lost hiker rescued near Horse Lake by SAR
How can I prevent, recognize and treat Hypothermia?
Op-Ed: Prepare for the worst before setting out in the winter
Prineville hunter lost 4 winter days and 3 nights in the Ochoco National Forest
Several hikers lost near Sisters, rescued by SAR
Snowshoer, "lost" near Wanoga snowpark, rescued by SAR
"Be Prepared" to be stranded on winter forest roads in Oregon
Several drivers become stranded on Oregon winter forest roads, led their new GPS' "fastest way" setting
Gear grist, an article written for The Mountaineer, the monthly newsletter of The Mountaineers
Robert Speik writes: "Use your digital cell in the backcountry" for The Mountaineer
Teen girls become lost overnight returning from hike to Moraine Lake
Snowboarder lost overnight near Mount Bachelor, rescued by SAR 
Woman leaves car stuck in snow near Klamath Falls, dies from exposure
Man rescued from crevasse just off South Sister climber's trail
Climbing South Sister: A Prospectus and a Labor Day near disaster
Trail runner survives fall on ice with cell phone call
Once again, hypothermia kills stranded Oregon driver
Lessons learned from the latest lost Mt. Hood climbers
Lessons learned from the latest lost Christmas tree hunters
New rescue services for all American Alpine Club Members
OpEd: Oregon requires electronic communications in the backcountry
Rescue charges in traditional alpine mountaineering
Governor establishes a Search and Rescue Task Force
Oregon Search and Rescue Statutes
Lost hiker in Oregon backcountry found with heat-sensing device in airplane
HB2509 mandates electronic locator beacons on Mt. Hood - climbers' views
Oregon HB 2509
Three hikers and a dog rescued on Mt. Hood
Motorist stuck in snow on backcountry Road 18, phones 911 for rescue
Snow stranded Utah couple leave car and die from hypothermia
Death on Mt. Hood - What happened to the three North Face climbers? 
Two climbers become lost descending Mt. Hood
Missing California family found, dad dies from exposure and hypothermia
Missing man survives two weeks trapped in snow-covered car
Missing snowmobile riders found, Roger Rouse dies from hypothermia
Lost snowmobile riders found, one deceased from hypothermia
Lost climber hikes 6.5 miles from South Sister Trail to Elk Lake
Hiking couple lost three nights in San Jacinto Wilderness find abandoned gear
Expert skier lost five days in North Cascades without Essentials, map and compass
Climber disappears on the steep snow slopes of Mount McLaughlin
Hiker lost five days in freezing weather on Mount Hood
Professor and son elude search and rescue volunteers
Found person becomes lost and eludes rescuers for five days
Teens, lost on South Sister, use cell phone with Search and Rescue
Lost man walks 27 miles to the highway from Elk Lake Oregon
Snowboarder Found After Week in Wilderness
Searchers rescue hiker at Smith Rock, find lost climbers on North Sister
Girl found in Lane County after becoming lost on hiking trip
Search and rescue finds young girls lost from family group
Portland athlete lost on Mt. Hood
Rescues after the recent snows
Novice couple lost in the woods
Search called off for missing climber Corwin Osborn
Broken Top remains confirmed as missing climber
Ollalie Trail - OSU Trip - Lost, No Map, Inadequate Clothing

 Your Essential Light Day Pack
What are the new Ten Essential Systems?
What does experience tell us about Light and Fast climbing?
What is the best traditional alpine mountaineering summit pack?
What is Light and Fast alpine climbing?
What do you carry in your day pack?      Photos?    
What do you carry in your winter day pack?       Photos?    
What should I know about "space blankets"?
Where can I get a personal and a group first aid kit?      Photos?

 Carboration and Hydration
Is running the Western States 100 part of "traditional mountaineering"?
What's wrong with GORP?    Answers to the quiz!
Why do I need to count carbohydrate calories?
What should I know about having a big freeze-dried dinner?
What about carbo-ration and fluid replacement during traditional alpine climbing?   4 pages in pdf  
What should I eat before a day of alpine climbing?

  About Alpine Mountaineering:
  The Sport of Alpine Mountaineering
  Climbing Together
  Following the Leader
  The Mountaineers' Rope
  Basic Responsibilities       Cuatro Responsabiliades Basicas de Quienes Salen al Campo
  The Ten Essentials         Los Diez Sistemas Esenciales

  Our Leader's Guidelines:
  Our Volunteer Leader Guidelines
  Sign-in Agreements, Waivers and Prospectus     This pdf form will need to be signed by you at the trail head
  Sample Prospectus    Make sure every leader tells you what the group is going to do; print a copy for your "responsible person"
  Participant Information Form    This pdf form can be printed and mailed or handed to the Leader if requested or required
  Emergency and Incident Report Form    Copy and print this form. Carry two copies with your Essentials 
  Participant and Group First Aid Kit   
Print this form. Make up your own first aid essentials (kits) 

  About our World Wide Website:

  Map, Compass and GPS
Map, compass and GPS navigation training Noodle in The Badlands
BLM guidelines for Geocaching on public lands
Geocaching on Federal Forest Lands
OpEd - Geocaching should not be banned in the Badlands
Winter hiking in The Badlands WSA just east of Bend
Searching for the perfect gift
Geocaching: What's the cache?
Geocaching into the Canyon of the Deschutes
Can you catch the geocache?
Z21 covers Geocaching
Tour The Badlands with ONDA 
The art of not getting lost
Geocaching: the thrill of the hunt!
GPS in the news
A GPS and other outdoor gadgets make prized gifts
Wanna play?  Maps show you the way
Cooking the "navigation noodle"