6 lost hikers rescued in Gorge, all doing fine

6 lost hikers rescued in Gorge, all doing fine

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by KGW Staff

KTVB.COM

Posted on August 22, 2013 at 4:06 PM

PORTLAND -- The six hikers who became stranded on a cliff between the Oneonta Gorge and Multnomah Falls after getting lost Wednesday have been rescued.

The rescuers needed to use ropes, harnesses and other climbing gear to safely help the hikers get back on the trail so they could head down the mountain around 1:30 p.m.  Some of the teens suffered scrapes and bruises, but no serious injuries, rescuers said.

The woman and five teens were part of a church youth group that ventured off the main trail Wednesday. The woman was identified as Julie Fritts, 57, of Grass Valley.  The teens' names were not released but they included two girls from Gladstone, a boy and girl from Grass Valley and a boy from Oregon City, according to officials.

The hikers were first located about 2 a.m. Thursday, in good condition, but could not immediately be reached by rescuers due to their precarious position.  Searchers said they "cliffed out," meaning they went down a steep incline to a point where they could neither descend or ascend.

The hikers were located on a steep incline leading down to a cliff below Cougar Rock, at about 1,000 feet elevation, officials said. 

Dangler said the hikers did not have warm clothing, flashlights or much food and water with them. He said Thursday's rescue served as an important reminder why people should always  bring emergency supplies with them, just in case.

"Have a plan, let people know what you're plan is going to be and be prepared for the elements," he added. "Carry the basics, including food and water and enough gear to be able to survive overnight."

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