2001 Missions

MISSION REPORT -- 01-01: Missing Adult, Clackamas County
Member-hours: 34

On Sunday, January 14, CMRU members assisted with the search for an adult who had been missing since January 2. His car had been located in a ditch about 16 miles up a road southeast of Estacada. It appeared he had stayed with the car for some period of time before leaving. The sector CMRU was assigned was steep and brushy which made for very difficult searching. Weather was a very cold rain throughout the day. Although they found some articles of clothing, none of the clues discovered by CMRU searchers were classified as belonging to the missing subject.
Participants: Craig, Gent, J. Linn, Morris, Vertanen, Sears, Walters

Written by Bob Freund

MISSION REPORT -- 01-02: Missing Adult, Benton County
Members-hours: 34; Miles: 302

A 27 year old male who had recently been arrested was distraught and did not report to his job. Friends reported him missing on Monday 1/15/01. Also, a handgun was reported missing. His pickup was located in a parking lot near Bald Hill on Tuesday evening. Benton County SAR assets were put on Standby as a dog team and trackers worked over the area around his truck.
Ground SAR personnel (including CMRU) were activated for the search beginning at 0730 Wednesday, 17 Jan 01. We staged at the Benton County Fairgrounds and were assigned to cover trails on the north and west sides of Bald Hill. Kathy Blackburn accompanied a Search One dog team that was working on the southeast side of the hill. We received our briefing and were in the field by 0830. At 0930 one of two dog teams reported finding the subject -- deceased from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Weather for this search started as fog with temperatures near or below freezing. CMRU searched in brushy terrain, but since it was winter, visibility in the brush was much greater than it would have been if leafed out.
Participants: Blackburn, Clunes, Dagata, Freund, J. Linn, Morris, O'Brien, Vertanen, Wach, Walters

Written by Bob Freund

MISSION REPORT 01-03: Overdue Hiker/Climber, Three-Sisters Wilderness
Hours: 720 Miles: 3540

At 0600 Sunday, June 17, Corwin Osborne was dropped off at Devils Lake Trailhead along Century Drive by his father, and was to be picked up at 2100 that night at Lava Camp Lake on the McKenzie Highway. It was Corwin's intention to summit South and Middle Sisters and possibly North Sister too during the one-day trek. He was sighted at 0645 above the flat west of Moraine Lake. A possible second sighting of him descending the north ridge of Middle Sister on Sunday at about 1145 was initially reported on Wednesday and confirmed on Saturday, June 23rd. No further contact has been reported.
CMRU was requested to assist Deschutes County by searching the Clark and Lewis Glacier's on South Sister on Thursday, June 21. A CMRU team of 4 was helo'd into the Clark Glacier while the Lewis Glacier team of 3 walked in. Our assignments were completed that day and both teams returned to the Devil's Lake Trailhead by 1830. Deschutes County released CMRU personnel Thursday evening. That night, four CMRU personnel went to Lane County's headquarters on McKenzie Pass to assist on Friday if needed.

At the Todd Lake Jct., Wayne, CMRU, on the right
and Bob Phillips (Deschutes Co. MRU)
with Mt. Bachelor in the background.

Don, ready and able
Later Friday, June 22, CMRU was requested to provide personnel to Lane County for search operations in the vicinity of North and Middle Sisters on Saturday and Sunday. Two CMRU members walked into Arrowhead Lake Friday and spent the night in order to begin searching with EMR personnel on Saturday. Other mountain rescue personnel (including additional CMRU personnel) were helo'd into the Collier Col on Saturday morning. A CMRU team of four searched Hayden Glacier on the east side of Middle Sister, and Thayer Glacier on the east side of North Sister. A combined team of EMR and CMRU searched the west side of North Sister eventually making their way out to Lava Camp Lake that night. The CMRU east side team remained in the field Saturday night camping near the top of Soap Creek before coming out at Pole Creek Trailhead on Sunday morning.
After returning to Base Camp, CMRU teams were debriefed and they enjoyed "real food" that Dale Blackburn had brought up to Base Camp -- including a watermelon. CMRU was released shortly after 1300 to return home.
Lessons Learned: (1) Electronic mail can be exploited to distribute photos of a missing subject and request information from people and groups which may have been in the search area at the same time the subject became lost. (2) Proper hydration can enhance performance and it is important to start with full water containers as we may not get near water during our assignments. (3) When you sleep on someone's lawn, find out if their sprinkler system is scheduled to start before you plan to rise. (4) The In-Town Coordinator only has (correct) information if it is passed from the field -- a regular schedule is important. (5) Driving home when tired is imprudent.
Participants: Blackburn, Clunes, Eberly, Freund, Greenwood, Lacer, Leach, Lederer, Lee, Morris, Vertanen, Vitagliano, Wach
Photos by Lindsay Clunes. Written by Bob Freund

MISSION REPORT 01-04: Injured Climber, Mt. Jefferson, Linn Co.
Member-hours: 80

While ascending the north coulior of Milk Creek on Mt. Jefferson at about 0310 on Sunday, July 1, 2001, a 30 year old male was struck in the forehead by a rock -- size unknown. It is not known whether he was wearing a helmet, but the rock strike caused a skull fracture. A group of ten Mazamas was just behind the pair of climbers and came to their aid. They were able to make a cellular call to inform Linn County.
CMRU was alerted shortly before 0500. The truck departed Corvallis by 0620 and arrived at the staging area (Pamelia Lake Trailhead) by 0830. Jeremy and Don formed a quick-response medical team while Jon, Anne, and Bob brought in the litter and other evacuation equipment. Camp Sherman Hasty Team was about an hour ahead of us on the trail, and ESAR personnel were about a half hour ahead of us. From the PCT, the Mazama group had wanded a climbers' trail to the patient. The Mazama group had assisted the patient in moving from the bottom of the coulior to a safer location on a ridge beside the coulior. At about 1000, the hasty team reached the patient and a National Guard helicopter from Salem arrived at the mountain. A flight medic was hoisted down with a litter and backboard. With assistance from Camp Sherman team members, the patient was packaged and hoisted aboard the helicopter for transport to Portland.
Following the successful helicopter extraction, all rescue personnel returned to the staging area. There they were debriefed and sent home.
Participants: Adolf, Freund, Greenwood, Lacer Leach, Linn, J., and Sears.

Written by Bob Freund

MISSION REPORT 01-05: Injured Climber, North Sister Wilderness
Hours: 2

A party of 3 was attempting North Sister. At one point, two of the party turned back when the terrain became too difficult, but the third continued alone. About an hour after they split-up, the single climber was heard screaming for help. He apparently was standing on a large rock when it dislodged and he tumbled about 400 ft but was conscious enough to callout for help. The accident happened around 0945.
A cellular phone call was made at about 1100 to Deschutes County who activated their MRU to be transported by Air Life as close to the accident site as possible. Deschutes Co. notified Lane Co. of the operation in progress and transferred control to Lane Co. Lane Co. activated EMR who was responding with five. Wayne Anderson from EMR (on behalf of Lane Co.) activated CMRU at 1500.
CMRU was paged at 1505 and nine members indicated they would be available to go on the mission. The truck was scheduled to depart Corvallis at 1830 with an ETA Frog Camp at 2130.
At about 1700, an H-60 from the Oregon National Guard arrived on scene and was able to hoist-down a flight medic who prepared the patient for transfer. The patient was airlifted to St. Charles Hospital in Bend. We were notified of the mission cancellation at 1720 by a telephone call from John Miller (Lane Co. S.O.).
The patient was initially said to have a fractured femur, but it was later reported he had a badly mangled finger and a knee injury.
Participants: Eberley, Freund, Gent, Leach, Lederer, Lee, J. Linn, S. Linn, Morris, Vertenan, Vitagliano

Written by Bob Freund

MISSION REPORT 01-06: Missing Adult, North side of Mt. Hood
Member-hours: 157

Over Labor Day weekend, a group of four Hungarian exchange students camped at Tilly Jane Campground. On Monday, Labor Day, one of the students left camp at about 0630 but did not return and was reported missing that evening. Although the missing subject had listed mountain climbing as one of his hobbies, his companions were fairly sure they had dissuaded him from attempting to climb Mt. Hood. An active search ensued all week.
CMRU was contacted Thursday afternoon with the request to be available at Cloud Cap at 0700 Saturday, September 8th. Five members (and the truck) spent Friday night at Cloud Cap.
Six members and the truck were at Base on Saturday morning and took the field shortly after 0800 with an assignment to cover the area of the "snow dome" on the Sunshine route between Eliot and Coe Glaciers. They hiked to the search area arriving about 1220. A search of crevasses (and flocking birds) was conducted up to an elevation of 8500 feet. Being the highest team on the mountain that day, the CMRU team acted as radio relay and visual spotters for other teams.
No sign was found of the missing subject. CMRU's team returned to Cloud Cap by clearing the west moraine of Eliot Glacier and arrived back in base at 1815. The search was suspended after Saturday's effort. We were released at 1915 and proceeded home. The truck arrived back in Corvallis at 2345.
Participants: Clunes, Eberly, Lee, Morris, Vitagliano, and Wach.

Written by Bob Freund

MISSION REPORT 01-07: Overdue Climber, Broken Top
Hours: 123, Miles: 1020

Danny Curran, 24, and his brother hiked into Green Lakes near Broken Top on the evening of Tuesday, November 6. At about 1400 on Wednesday, Danny said he was going to climb Broken Top. He did not return that night. His brother searched through Thursday before hiking out on Friday to report him missing. He was from Pennsylvania and was not familiar with the area.
Deschutes Co., PMR, and others searched through the weekend on the mountain and around the Green Lakes area. Helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft were used. On Monday, CMRU was contacted to assist on Tuesday. Five members traveled to Bend and spent the night at the Deschutes Co. SAR headquarters.
We were assigned to the south fork of Squaw Creek upstream from where the Green Lakes Trail crosses the creek. We departed Bend for the Pole Creek Trailhead on Tuesday morning. By 0930 we were on the trail south from Pole Creek Trailhead -- the temperature was in the 30's and it was beginning to rain lightly. We reached Squaw Creek around 1100 and the rain was becoming heavier. From 1130 to 1330, we searched both sides of the south fork of Squaw Creek with three people on the south side and two on the north to a point just east of Demaris Lake. In two hours, we covered just over a mile and a quarter with a combined visual and sound sweep of the area.
At about 1330, we were directed to suspend our search and begin heading out due to deteriorating weather. The precipitation had become heavy and wind was picking up -- even in the bottom of the canyon. Treefall became a concern as several wind gusts bent over even mature trees.
We arrived back at the trailhead about 1530 and all CMRU personnel were enroute to Sisters by 1630. A mission debriefing form and map were completed and faxed to Deschutes Co. at 1715 from Sisters Fire Dept. No sign of the missing party was found.
Radio communication was handled through a relay on Trout Creek Butte. GPS coverage was marginal during most of the afternoon due to cliffs beside the creek and the satellite constellation had most of the SV's below the ridgeline.

Written by Bob Freund

MISSION REPORT 01-08: Stand-by, Lost Child, Benton County
Hours: 1

Shortly after 1300 on Wednesday, November 14, a 3 year old boy was reported missing from his home in the area of Alpine in south Benton county. A page was sent on ALL SAR at about 1345 putting all Benton County SAR personnel on Stand-by. CMRU sent its Stand-by page at 1356. Just after 1400, the boy was located by a Benton County Deputy in the area. The mission was cancelled at 1411.

Written by Bob Freund


In the year just completed, we had eight missions -- six of which resulted in dispatching members to the field. During those six missions, we accumulated 1187 hours of operations and 6527 miles of driving. We participated in missions to assist Benton, Clackamas, Deschutes, Hood River, Lane, and Linn county Sheriff's departments on Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson, North Sister, South Sister, and near Middle Sister/Broken Top.
During 2001, the Unit successfully completed its MRA reaccreditation in Rock Rescue, Winter Rescue, and Wilderness Search. We also maintained an active affiliation with the Oregon Mountain Rescue Council and the Benton County SAR Council.

Written by Bob Freund