DIAMOND LAKE, Ore. - Two hikers were successfully rescued from Mt. Thielsen due to their level of preparedness.
On Friday, June 21, 2019, around 9:00 PM, dispatchers were notified that two SOS signals were being sent from Garmin inReach personal locator devices. Dispatchers were provided information regarding the two individuals who were registered with the devices.
Two St. Louis Park, Minnesota residents, 28 year-old Kaia Fink and her 67 year-old father, David Fink, were hiking the Pacific Crest Trail when they encountered heavy snow. Due to the snow, they lost track of the trail and subsequently hiked nearly to the peak of Mt. Thielsen. The two hikers were in an extremely treacherous area of the mountain and realized they were in need of rescue, activating their SOS devices.
Douglas County Search and Rescue was activated and began hiking in. SAR was able to get within 1,500 feet of the hikers, but due to the terrain were unable to safely hike further. Searchers spent the night at the location while a rescue plan was developed.
In coordination with the Oregon Office of Emergency Management, arrangements were made for a Black Hawk helicopter to be deployed from Salem. The National Guard was able to hoist the two hikers into the Black Hawk and fly them to safety. Neither hiker required medical attention.
The hikers began their journey on the trail in April leaving from Mexico.
Editors Note: This is the second rescue this month on Mt Thielsen of hikers that have lost the Pacific Crest Trail due to heavy snow. On June 17, another hiker used a SOS safety beacon to aid Search and Rescue in locating their position on the mountain.
Press release provided from the Douglas County Sheriffs Office.