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Deschutes County SAR rescues a senior hiker at Smith Rock

Injured Hiker Rescued at Smith Rock
Madras Woman Has No Fun on Misery Ridge
By Mackenzie Wilson, KTVZ.COM
May 1, 2012

Cool, sunny weather made for the perfect day of exploring at Smith Rock on Tuesday. But 71-year-old Lois Fuller's fun came to a halt 3/4 of the way up Misery Ridge when she slipped on loose rock and suffered a minor injury.

"We went up there with the proper rescue equipment and were able to get her down safely," said Liam Klatt, assistant SAR coordinator for the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office.

A caller to 911 dispatchers reported the woman's injury shortly after 11 am saying she was unable to continue the hike at Smith Rock State Park, Klatt said.

It took eight men to get the Madras woman down safely; four had their hands on the stretcher while the other four gripped onto a long piece of rope behind.

"It was just a braking system," Klatt said. "That way, if someone were to slip that's manning the litter, the litter doesn't go out of control. So it's just a braking system,"

Despite crews having to carefully maneuver the stretcher down stairs while on loose rock, one rescuer told me the hardest part was going slow.

But going fast is a sure way to slow things down.

"We're not going to do anybody any good if we're in a big hurry and we get somebody hurt while we're trying to save them," Klatt said. "We would wind up having to double the work so to speak." It took the crew less than 30 minutes to carry Fuller down Smith Rock's sketchy switchbacks.

"She was real appreciative of the fact that we were helping her down, and we're happy to do it," he said.

After crossing over the Crooked River, she was placed in the back of a pickup truck which took her on one more bumpy ride out of the canyon, to a waiting ambulance.

Fuller was taken to St. Charles Medical Center-Redmond for treatment at the end of a rescue operation that took about two hours in total.

Rescue crews say this is a reminder to bring your cellphone with you, and to call if you get lost or injured in the outdoors.
Copyright 2012 KTVZ. All rights reserved.
Watch the award winning video news report by Mackenzie Wilson!

Three Comments

PROUD OF YOU, SAR!  As always. Efficient, professional, outwardly calm and collected, and with a sense of humor. What an amazing bunch you are. And proud of les dames d'un certain age HIKING!! :) Carpe diem, Ms. Fuller!

On another note entirely -- hang on to this MacKenzie Wilson, or whoever wrote this piece. I live in the greater LA area (Orange County) and our news writing down here is -- surprisingly -- actually quite pitiful. The
message it sends smacks of, "I'm in LA -- huge market -- I've MADE IT -- sooooooo, I think I'll just phone it in..."

Wilson's was a great piece that I read before I watched the video, and the writing popped even more hearing it a second time as a narrative to the visual. So, really nicely done. I'm kind of a hard case when it comes
to my expectations from certain markets, a flaw illustrated nicely by my incessant bristling at lazy writing, awkward phrasing, or whatnot. The sheer quantity of opportunities for announcers or on air talent to use
ambiguous language throughout the course of a newscast are highlighted, illustrated, and repeated, and repeated and then they repeat what they repeated, ad, again, lovely piece, and thank you
for relighting the flame of hope in me that somewhere out there, someone still not only knows how to write "the news" in such an interesting and compelling (yet efficient and concise!) manner, but actually CARES to
do so.

Barney Lerten, Content Director/KTVZ.COM Moderator
What a nice thing to say! And such a nice way of saying it! I immediately shared it not just with Mack but our superiors. Your kind words are very much appreciated!
In reply to Savasanagrrrl

This is an informative story of an all too common accident on the often steep but scenic walking trails at Smith Rock State Park.

The well maintained trails at Smith may have steep sections made "slippery" by small natural volcanic scree over the hard rock of the trails.Park visitors need to be alert on these sections.

Slips and falls to the trail lead to sprains and simple broken bones and a trip to the Emergency Room. See photos and a story of the rescue of a senior hiker by Redmond Fire:

Lois Fuller was assisted by Deschutes Search and Rescue due to the need for technical transport down the very steep Misery Ridge trail.

It is important to note the suggestion by SAR, to always carry a cell phone for that call to 911.
--Robert Speik


Hiking Accidents at Smith Rock
Each year, there are many Smith Rock State Park hiking accidents of the type shown in the photos above. The well maintained trails at Smith often have short steep sections made "slippery" by small natural gravel over the hard ground or rock of the trails. Park personnel and visitors need to be alert on these sections.

An estimated $200,000 has been spent since 1994, on the two most difficult hiking trails in Smith Rock State Park. The Misery Ridge Trail and the continuing trail down the other side from above Monkey Face down to the Crooked River were re-engineered and re-built by contractors.

Visitors to Smith Rock State Park are estimated to number 350,000 to 400,000 per year. While the original success of the Park may have been due primarily to the sport climbing community, an estimated 65% to 70% of recent years visitation is from hikers, walkers, runners, bird watchers and others. The Park runs at full parking capacity on summer weekends.
--Webmeister Speik



Read more . . .
  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 Essential Systems      
Los Diez Sistemas Esenciales

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