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Searchers rescue hurt hiker at Smith Rock, find lost climbers on North Sister

Searchers rescue hurt hiker, find lost climbers
Weekend incidents occur at Smith Rock, North Sister

Two Eugene men trying to climb North Sister on Saturday ran into bad weather, became lost and later were found by searchers
By Barney Lerten for
Sunday, October 5, 2003 

October 5 - The first weekend of October was a busy one for Deschutes County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue units, called out to help remove a fallen, injured hiker at Smith Rock State Park Saturday night and find two overdue climbers on the North Sister early Sunday.

Around 7 p.m. Saturday, searchers joined sheriff’s deputies, Redmond Fire paramedics and a state park ranger, dispatched to a report of an injured hiker on the trail below the “student wall” climbing area at Smith Rock State Park, said sheriff’s Deputy Rhett Hemphill. 

Responding units located Arlene K. Denniston, 46, of Maple Valley, Wash. Hemphill said she sustained minor injuries when she slipped and fell from a trail below the climbing area. 

Denniston was put into a litter and a rope system was rigged up to lift her about 40 feet out of the canyon, the deputy said. 

Redmond paramedics transported the woman to St. Charles Medical Center-Redmond, where she was listed in fair condition Sunday afternoon. 

“We don’t know how far she fell,” Hemphill added.


Two Eugene men trying to climb North Sister on Saturday ran into bad weather, became lost and later were found by searchers
Then, around 1:30 a.m. Sunday, searchers, deputies and a Forest Service law enforcement officer were dispatched to a report of two overdue hikers in the North Sister area, Hemphill said. 

The pair, identified as Glenn Zimmerman, 55, and Greg Cone, 46, both of Eugene,, had attempted to reach the North Sister’s summit without the proper gear, the deputy said. After bad weather forced them to return to the trailhead, they became lost. Neither had proper clothing or gear to spend a night on the 10,085-foot peak, Hemphill said. 

Searchers found the pair around 8 a.m., unhurt and in good spirits, Hemphill said. They were led back to the trailhead by members of the sheriff’s search and rescue unit. 

Cone told rescuers he had a GPS unit that had malfunctioned, and he was not able to find his way back to the trailhead in the dark. 

Hemphill reminded visitors to the Three Sisters Wilderness Area to make sure they have the proper equipment and clothing for the activity they will be involved in.



Webmeister's note: I have been using GPS receivers and teaching map, compass and GPS for several years and I have never heard of a GPS "malfunctioning". What malfunctions is the operator.  Here is how to correct the  operator malfunction.

When you input a waypoint, say for your rig at the trail head, you must check immediately that you have input the waypoint correctly.  Just page to Waypoints, Nearest and your location waypoint should come up.  Put in a GO TO to your new waypoint, turn the receiver off, put it in your pack and with your map and compass in your pocket, take a hike.  When you decide to return to the trail head, turn on the GPS and the GO TO to your rig should still be selected.  Of course you need to bring two extra AA batteries in your Essentials. Of course, if you drop your GPS, it it may break.

Of course, never navigate in the backcountry with GPS alone - always use your map, compass and GPS skills together!
  --Bob Speik


Warning: Traditional Mountaineering is an inherently dangerous sport!





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  About Alpine Mountaineering:    Interesting essays reviewed 08.11.04
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