ountain rescue team responded to three incidents recently, including one at Mount Rainier, and most recently an injured hiker in Gordon Creek Canyon on Jan. 23.
The hiker had been out for two nights, fell, sustained injuries, and became hypothermic. Crag Rats responded along with Cascade Locks Fire Department (CLFD) and Pacific Northwest Search and Rescue at dusk to the remote, steep, narrow canyon apart from any trail, according to spokesman Dr. Christopher Van Tilburg.
The CLFD and Crag Rats reached the injured hiker who was unable to walk. The responders rendered medical care and transported the patient across a rocky stream in the canyon to a small clearing. At dark, a helicopter from the U.S. Coast Guard arrived, hoisted the patient, and transported to Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland. The low temperature in the Columbia River Gorge was approximately 34 degrees.
On Jan. 18, Crag Rats responded to two lost hikers in upper Warren Creek Canyon near Warren Lake. The hikers were located with cell phone geolocation and successfully rescued.
On Jan. 14-17, four Crag Rats volunteered for Mountain Rescue Patrol at Mount Rainier National Park, which culminated in a night rescue mission high on the treacherous peak, Van Tilburg stated. Crag Rats were paged on Jan. 16 at 4 p.m. by park officials to help rescue three climbers who were cold, injured, and stuck on the Muir Snowfield at 8,000 feet. The temperature was 27 degrees Fahrenheit with winds gusting to 40 mph. The last time Crag Rats responded to Mount Rainier was in 1929 for a body recovery on the Ingraham Glacier.
The Crag Rats is the oldest mountain rescue team in the nation. Founded in 1926, the all-volunteer team certified in high angle, avalanche, and crevasse rescue by the Mountain Rescue Association.
Currently the Crag Rats are fundraising for a new roof for advanced SAR base Cloud Cap Inn at 6,000 feet on the north side of Mount Hood. There are three ways to donate:
Send checks to PO Box 1159, Hood River, OR 97031