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Rescuers find missing hikers, snowmobilers and injured skier after recent snows

From Bend Bugle Staff
February 27, 2003

Two hikers followed the snowmobile tracks of searchers to make their way back to their car in the Three Creeks Lake area Sunday night, a successful end to a search of several hours. It was the third Deschutes County Sheriff's Search and Rescue call-out of the long Presidents' Day weekend, the others involving overdue snowmobilers and an injured skier amid the first fresh snowfall in weeks.

Bruce Flaming, 67, a Washington state resident with a second home at Black Butte Ranch, had gone on a hike Sunday afternoon near the Upper Three Creeks Sno-Park with his son, Mark Flaming, 44, of Hood River, and Mark's wife, Karen Enns, 42, said sheriff's deputy Allan Borland. 

The trio walked to the Jeff's View Shelter, had lunch and started hiking back to the car when they came upon "Nancy's Loop," a spot where the trail loops a half-mile to the west, then connects back to the main trail.

Mark Flaming took the loop as his wife and father took the main trail, expecting to meet at their car around 2:30 p.m. When Mark Flaming failed to show, his worried wife and father headed back out to look for him, leaving behind their backpacks and snowshoes, Borland said.

Meanwhile, the son, who had crampons, rather than snowshoes, caught a ride back to the parking lot around 4:30 p.m., finding his wife's and father's gear at the car, but no sign of his wife or father. He waited a while, but as it began getting dark, contacted authorities around 
5:15 p.m.

Search and Rescue and Forest Service personnel began searching the trails on snowmobiles, said Sgt. Dan Swearingen, search and rescue coordinator. The missing couple came upon the snowmobile tracks and followed them back to their car, where they were found around 10 p.m., Borland said.

The missing pair turned up in good shape, as they "were well dressed," Borland said. "They just didn't take their backpacks, no compass, flashlight, food or water. It was snowing pretty good - it dumped two inches while we were there. I don't go anywhere out there without a compass and backpack."

Around 4:30 p.m. Saturday, the agency responded to Swampy Lakes Sno-Park on a report of a cross-country skier with a broken leg, Said sheriff's deputy Rhett Hemphill.

Search and Rescue members headed in by snowmobile to the injured skier, identified as Stacy Smith, 35, of Eugene. Smith had been cross-country skiing with friends when she went down an embankment and fell, suffering a broken ankle, Hemphill said.

A sheriff's office EMT put Smith's ankle in a splint, and she was taken by snowmobile to the sno-park. Hemphill said the Bend Fire Department then transported the injured woman to St. Charles Medical Center, where she was treated and released.

Meanwhile, about 6 p.m. Saturday, Search and Rescue members responded to Edison Sno-Park on a report of two overdue snowmobilers who had been missing for about three hours, Hemphill said. A search was begun by snowmobile in the area where the pair were last seen.

The missing men, identified as Ryan Basile, 27, of Silverton, and Andrew Fox, 28, of Bend, eventually were located by members of the sheriff's office, Hemphill said. The two reported that mechanical problems had delayed their return to the sno-park.

Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort reported 8 1/2 inches of new snow Sunday, pushing the base back up to 70-80 inches. Recently reopened Hoodoo Ski area reported a whopping 18 inches of new (and badly needed) snow since Saturday afternoon, pushing it's base to about three feet.

A snow advisory was posted in the Cascades for another 9-14 inches of snow through the holiday. A chilly, showery week is ahead for the High Desert, with highs in the 40s and lows in the 20s, National Weather Service forecasters say.




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

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