Three hikers from Ohio were rescued, uninjured, from the Pacific Crest Trail near Marion Lake on Sunday after the three stumbled into unexpectedly icy conditions.
Linn County sheriff's deputies responded to an SOS call that had been activated several times from a “spot locator” that the hikers brought with them. The locator took deputies to the exact GPS location of the hikers, who had planned to be out for about a week hiking the Pacific Crest Trail from Hoodoo to the Oregon-Washington border. They had started their hike last Thursday.
The SOS came into the sheriff’s dispatch about 11:25 a.m. Sunday. The Search and Rescue team was able to contact one of the hikers, 44-year-old Jodie Lynn Wilcox, on her cellphone. She said she was hiking with Jean Winland, 50, and Winland’s 21-year-old daughter, Ama Jean Winland.
Apparently, the hikers became lost after unintentionally walking into an area where snow had iced over the trail. Steep terrain and the icy conditions prevented the group from hiking back to their vehicle.
Search and rescue members reached the hikers at 11:05 p.m. Sunday, but trail conditions prevented them from getting the hikers to safety until about 5 a.m. Monday.
Assisting in the rescue were Linn County deputies, Linn County Search and Rescue workers and the Linn County Sheriff’s Mounted Posse.
Linn County Sheriff Bruce Riley reminded hikers to be prepared to spend the night in the woods, and noted that day hikers should take appropriate food, water, a map, cellphone and tell friends or family members where they are going, their anticipated route and when they expect to return. He also recommended taking a personal tracker or spot locator, such as the three Ohio hikers used.
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