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Redmond Fire Department rescues a senior hiker at Smith Rock

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Copyright© 2007 - 2012 by Robert Speik.
 All Rights Reserved.

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.

On March 15, 2007, this nice Grandmother was walking with her family along the mostly level trail along the river when she slipped and fell to the ground. She was adamant that she had broken a bone, because she had heard a "snap". She was the consummate trooper! The Redmond Fire Department Paramedics splinted her leg and ankle and applied a large cold pack. I do not know if they gave her a shot of morpheme. I would have asked for something. She was cheerful through out her ordeal.

Two family members went for help and two stayed with her as the Paramedics "packaged the patient" and Smith Rock Ranger Thad Fitzhenry gave her a slow safe ride along the Crooked River and across the bridge to a waiting 4 x 4 State Park truck which took her up the steep and slippery hill to the parking lot. She was taken for further care, by family car to St. Charles Hospital in nearby Bend.

The Rescue was fast and professional as far as I could observe. I commend the Redmond Firemen for their efficiency and compassion. I had been ready to go for a hike when the Fire Engine arrived, so Max and I followed along. We are happy we could share this experience with our readers.

I did not take any names, but I spoke to her family members. Perhaps they will send me an email so that I can honor this woman's personal courage. Keep this story bookmarked and return soon for an up-date.
--Webmeister Speik


The Rest of the Story

My mother is the grandmother that fell on the path at Smith Rocks.
She was taken to St. Charles Medical Center in Bend. Mom broke her leg and ankle. She had to have surgery that night in which the Doctors placed pins and a metal plate in her leg and ankle. She was still smiling and joking even though in pain. The nurses thought she was just a delight. Mom did make the wedding of her granddaughter a couple of days after the fall. She is laid up for a while recuperating in Oregon and as soon as she can will return to her home and job. She wants to Thank the wonderful Redmond Fire Fighters and Park Ranger for the way they handled the situation and for their kindness. She also wants to thank the staff in the ER and Surgery for the way she was kindly treated. Mom is doing well and in good spirits. Though when we mention hiking again at Smith Rocks she thinks she will try something else.

We enjoyed the pictures on this web page. Take Care!

--Verna Pool's Family

Note: Thanks Wendy! --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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Smith Rock - Climber survives 40-foot fall, rescued by SAR
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Smith Rock - Climbers become stranded on Monkey Face
Smith Rock - Warning!! ** Climber falls trying to clip first bolt
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Smith Rock - AAC: Leader fall turns climber upside down
Smith Rock - AAC: Warning!! ** Belayer drops climber off the end of the top rope
Smith Rock - AAC: Fall on rock - protection pulled out
Smith Rock - AAC: WARNING - Belayer drops climber off the end of the top rope
Smith Rock - AAC: Inadequate top rope belay
Smith Rock - AAC: Climber injured on the approach
Smith Rock - AAC: WARNING - Belayer drops climber off the end of the top rope
Smith Rock - AAC: Belay error - novice sport climber injured
Smith Rock - AAC: Fall on rock, protection pulled out
Smith Rock - AAC: Fall on rock - poor position, inadequate protection
Smith Rock - AAC: Pulled rock off - fall on rock, failure to test holds, exceeding abilities
Smith Rock - Eye witness report of a serious fall
Smith Rock - AAC: Belay error - fatal fall on rock

Smith Rock State Park Spring Thing volunteers in 2009
BARK Wild Juniper Berry VI Adventure Race near Smith Rock, Oregon
American Alpine Club's 2007 Annual Meeting in Bend Oregon
Smith Rock Detour Bouldering Contest and Reel Rock Tour
Redmond Fire Department rescues a senior hiker at Smith Rock
Smith Rock Spring Thing in 2006
Smith Rock Spring Thing 2006 volunteer's party at the Barn
HERA climb for life fundraiser at Smith Rock
HERA climb4life party at the Smith Rock Barn
American Alpine Club and Traditional Mountaineering build another rescue cache at Smith Rock
Smith Rock Spring Thing Improvements
Smith Rock Spring Thing 2004 Party!
Smith Rock hiking in the spring
Smith Rock from above the Burma Road
Smith Rock rescue cache by AAC/ORS and TraditionalMountaineering
Smith Rock weekend
Smith Rock Monkey Face practice