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Lost Nordic skier and two dogs, assisted by SAR

Lost Nordic skier and two dogs, assisted by SAR
KTVZ.COM News Sources
March 3, 2012

A cross-country skier who became lost in the Wanoga Sno-Park area Friday was found after nightfall by Deschutes County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue members, officials said.

Sheriff’s deputies and SAR units were dispatched around 5:30 p.m. to the report of the lost skier, identified as Kelly Hansen, 41, of Bend, said Deputy Jim Whitcomb, the rescue group’s assistant coordinator.
Nine SAR members and a Forest Service law enforcement officer responded to the area and found Hansen and her two dogs in good condition around 8:30 p.m., nearly four miles east of the Wanoga dog ski track area, Whitcomb said.

Hansen told rescuers she had departed around 2 p.m. and had been skiing alone, accompanied by her two dogs, Whitcomb said. She said she had become turned around after skiing up and down Kiwa Butte.
She was pulled on her skis by snowmobile, accompanied by her dogs, back to Century Drive by way of Forest Service Road 4130, Whitcomb said.
Copyright 2012 KTVZ. All rights reserved.

Selected Comments from readers:
Robert Speik

We are happy that SAR Volunteers, by skill and snowmobile, met up with Ms. Hansen at about 8:30 pm Friday, rather than 8:30 am Saturday!

It is not reported by SAR, but we assume she used an ordinary cell phone to seek guidance and/or assistance through a phone call to 911.

We assume she talked with an experienced Coordinator who learned where she thought she was, near Kiwa Butte. We assume SAR received her geographic coordinates through 911, from her cell phone Provider, within five minutes of the SAR request, as required by FCC Statute. We assume SAR leaders plotted her expected location on a USGS $7.00 Quad topo map (whether paper or an inexpensive electronic program such as My TOPO's "Terrain Navigator"). We assume SAR checked for her car at the Trail Head and with her family to confirm she had planned to cross country ski that day with her dogs and indeed was lost.

National SAR protocol suggests that the lost person calling, stay in one place and WAIT for rescuers. Since Hansen used her ordinary cell phone to contact 911 at 5:30 pm, and was met by the SAR snowmobiles at 8:30 pm, she must have gotten very cold, unless she was Prepared with the Ten Essential Systems, to be stranded in place for several hours or over-night. Friday, March 2, 2012, was "colder than a two dog night" at that elevation, about 5706'. The SAR response time of three hours was pretty fast, in our opinion.

Kiwa Butte is a small volcanic bump just 2 miles and 985 feet south east of the Wanoga Snow Park entrance off Cascades Lakes Highway on the way up to Mt. Bachelor. It is just about a half mile south east of the maintained highway to Sun River. It is not reported by SAR, but we can only assume that Ms. Hansen did not carry a $7.00 Quad topo map or a base plate compass (adjusted to 16 degrees E declination, of course). She could have skied to the well traveled highway in just a few minutes. We are pretty sure she did not have a $100.00 GPS.

Friday was a bluebird day near Mt. Bachelor, however, an ice cloud formed over the summit on Friday afternoon, according to professional sources. It is possible that Ms. Hansen lost her landmarks of nearby peaks and became disoriented. She must have known the well traveled highway to Sun River was just a half mile to the West. Without a $30 base plate declination adjusted compass, she became disoriented and did not know which way was West. This resulted in her three hour stranding and the call out of 9 volunteers and a Deputy Sheriff.

Al Hornish, a 12-year veteran of DCSAR was quoted in The Source on January 26, 2012 as follows: "We have grown a lot over the past decade." "The nature of missions has changed as well. There are more rescues and less searches, mostly because of the better technology available."


Wilderness Expert Says Cell Phone, Extra Layers are Key

Recent Rescue in the Woods Offers Lessons To All
Wilderness Expert Says Cell Phone, Extra Layers Key
By Alicia Inns, KTVZ.COM
April 6, 2011

Police say 41-year old Clayton Lichtenhahn is lucky to be alive. After crashing his ATV becoming disoriented, the La Pine man was forced to spend a cold night in the woods.

Joie Frazee, one of the owners of Twin Lakes Resort, found Lichtenhahn wandering in the snow, wearing only his underwear, a windbreaker, riding gloves and black boots that had cut into the skin on his shins from
walking 12 miles from where he crashed into a fallen tree.

An outfit too bare for frigid temperatures.

"Considering the temperatures Monday night and the way he was dressed, he wasn't prepared to be outside for a long period of time," said Deschutes County sheriff's Det. Tim Hernandez.

Bob Speik is a wilderness expert in Central Oregon who runs a Website, He said Wednesday the most efficient way to take the "search" out of search and rescue is to always carry a cellphone -- a tool police say Lichtenhahn left at home.

"Aside from telling someone where you are going, bringing a cellphone is the most crucial thing," Speik said Wednesday. "Now you can call 911 on a cellphone and by federal mandate, they can locate you by
triangulation from cell towers."

If you do get stranded, hurt or lost, Speik says to stay in one place, tell someone where you are headed before leaving and always carry extra clothing.

He suggests buying maps, a compass and/or a GPS receiver and packing them with the rest of your belongings.

Speik says Lichtenhahn's situation was unexpected but it can teach us all a lesson; Leave Prepared.

"Mr. Lichtenhahn should have stayed with his ATV, because it's easier to see that, but it's hard to see a person," Speik said. "Without a map or compass, he walked 12 miles in the wrong
direction. He was cold, wet and without the proper clothing, and he was lucky to be found by that man."

Lichtenhahn was upgraded to fair condition at St. Charles Tuesday night.

For a full list of the essential outdoor systems visit


What can be learned from this interesting incident?

We have been unable to talk to Kelly Hansen. Federal HIPPA privacy laws prevent medical personnel, including SAR Units, from providing contact information for patients. If Kelly will contact us, we will correct any inaccuracies in our analysis. This is not a 'could-a, would-a, should-a exercise, but a traditional effort to help others learn valuable lessons from the experiences of others.

Ordinary cell phones coverage has improved, year by year. Check your favorite areas. Much of the high desert area and the Three Sisters Wilderness is covered by Verizon CDMA and other cell phone towers. Cell communication equipment used by many Providers is located on the top of Mt. Bachelor. If you can see the summit, you should have good cell phone communications. If you are in a hollow or behind a ridge, just move a few feet!

It seems clear that this hiker did not have a $30.00 Suunto declination adjusted base plate compass or a $7.00 USGS Quad topo map. They last a life time and do not require batteries. They are traditional tools.

Google each one of these three search phrases:    Best Compass for backcountry     Best topo maps for backcountry     Best GPS for backcountry use

Millions of ordinary people world wide, use a common $100/200.00 hand held Garmin eTrex GPS with maps and color screen, for geocaching, hiking, hunting, cross country skiing, etc. Most GPS receivers have at least 14 hours of continuous life on two new batteries. Extra AA batteries can be carried in a warm pants pocket to change out batteries weakened by cold. Lithium batteries withstand the cold much better than "regular" AA batteries.


Here are some Basic suggestions for all backcountry travelers

1. Practice the Four Basic Responsibilities of the Backcountry Traveler. They work!  Basic Responsibilities

2. Carry the new Ten Essential Systems, sized for the forecast weather and the adventure in a light day pack. This includes a map, compass and GPS and the skills to use them. In the winter, this includes enough extra insulation and waterproof clothing to keep you dry and warm if you become stranded. In snow, you must have a shovel and insulating pad and the skills to make a shelter in the snow to avoid hypothermia and frost bite damage. It works!  Essential Systems

3. Carry a fully charged digital cell phone and periodically check where it can communicate with any cell towers to assist authorities to triangulate your position from cell tower pings. (Most cell providers do not use cell phone GPS signals to locate customers under FCC E911 regulations - they use triangulation). Cold disables batteries. If the weather is cold, carry the cell phone in a pants pocket near the femoral artery. Report your UTM NAD27 coordinates, your condition, the conditions where you are and discuss your plans with SAR.  Ordinary Cell Phones   If you may be out of cell tower range, carry a SPOT.  SPOT-2 Satellite Messenger

4. Always stay found on your topo map and be aware of major land features. If visibility starts to wane, reconfirm your bearings with your map, compass and GPS and quickly return to a known location. A GPS is the only practical way for a trained individual to navigate in a whiteout or blowing snow.  Lost Mt Hood Climbers


A suggested minimum standard news advisory for all backcountry travelers!

"We would like to take this opportunity to ask our visitors to the backcountry of Oregon to Plan for the unexpected. Each person should dress for the forecast weather and take minimum extra clothing to provide protection from a drop in temperature and possible rain or snow storm or an unexpected cold wet night out. Each person should carry high carbohydrate snacks, two quarts of water or Gatorade, a topo map and declination adjusted base plate compass and an optional inexpensive GPS (and the skills to use them together). Each person who has a cell phone should carry their ordinary charged cell phone (from a service provider that has the best local backcountry coverage). An inexpensive SPOT-2 GPS Satellite Communicator is a good additional option for some. Each person should carry their selected items from the new 'Ten Essentials Systems' in a day pack sized for the individual, the trip, the season and the forecast weather."

"Visitors are reminded to tell a Responsible Person where they are going, where they plan to park, when they will be back and to make sure that person understands that they are relied upon to call 911 at a certain time if the backcountry traveler has not returned. Call 911 as soon as you become lost or stranded. You will not be charged. Do not try to find your way until you are benighted, exhausted, or worse yet - wet. Your ordinary cell phone call to 911 can take the 'Search' out of Search and Rescue."


"To provide information and instruction about world-wide basic to advanced alpine mountain climbing safety skills and gear, on and off trail hiking, scrambling and light and fast Leave No Trace backpacking techniques based on the foundation of an appreciation for the Stewardship of the Land, all illustrated through photographs and accounts of actual shared mountaineering adventures."

TraditionalMountaineering is founded on the premise that "He who knows naught, knows not that he knows naught", that exploring the hills and summitting peaks have dangers that are hidden to the un-informed and that these inherent risks can be in part, identified and mitigated by mentoring: information, training, wonderful gear, and knowledge gained through the experiences of others.

The value of TraditionalMountaineering to our Friends and Subscribers is the selectivity of the information we provide, and its relevance to introducing folks to informed hiking on the trail, exploring off the trail, mountain travel and Leave-no-Trace light-weight bivy and backpacking, technical travel over steep snow, rock and ice, technical glacier travel and a little technical rock climbing on the way to the summit. Whatever your capabilities and interests, there is a place for everyone in traditional alpine mountaineering.




Mountain climbing has inherent dangers that can, only in part, be mitigated


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 Your Essential Light Day Pack
What are the new Ten Essential Systems?
What does experience tell us about Light and Fast climbing?
What is the best traditional alpine mountaineering summit pack?
What is Light and Fast alpine climbing?
What do you carry in your day pack?      Photos?    
What do you carry in your winter day pack?       Photos?    
What should I know about "space blankets"?
Where can I get a personal and a group first aid kit?      Photos?

 Carboration and Hydration
Is running the Western States 100 part of "traditional mountaineering"?
What's wrong with GORP?    Answers to the quiz!
Why do I need to count carbohydrate calories?
What should I know about having a big freeze-dried dinner?
What about carbo-ration and fluid replacement during traditional alpine climbing?   4 pages in pdf  
What should I eat before a day of alpine climbing?

  About Alpine Mountaineering:
  The Sport of Alpine Mountaineering
  Climbing Together
  Following the Leader
  The Mountaineers' Rope
  Basic Responsibilities       Cuatro Responsabiliades Basicas de Quienes Salen al Campo
  The Ten Essentials         Los Diez Sistemas Esenciales

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  Our Volunteer Leader Guidelines
  Sign-in Agreements, Waivers and Prospectus     This pdf form will need to be signed by you at the trail head
  Sample Prospectus    Make sure every leader tells you what the group is going to do; print a copy for your "responsible person"
  Participant Information Form    This pdf form can be printed and mailed or handed to the Leader if requested or required
  Emergency and Incident Report Form    Copy and print this form. Carry two copies with your Essentials 
  Participant and Group First Aid Kit   
Print this form. Make up your own first aid essentials (kits) 

  About our World Wide Website:

  Map, Compass and GPS
Map, compass and GPS navigation training Noodle in The Badlands
BLM guidelines for Geocaching on public lands
Geocaching on Federal Forest Lands
OpEd - Geocaching should not be banned in the Badlands
Winter hiking in The Badlands WSA just east of Bend
Searching for the perfect gift
Geocaching: What's the cache?
Geocaching into the Canyon of the Deschutes
Can you catch the geocache?
Z21 covers Geocaching
Tour The Badlands with ONDA 
The art of not getting lost
Geocaching: the thrill of the hunt!
GPS in the news
A GPS and other outdoor gadgets make prized gifts
Wanna play?  Maps show you the way
Cooking the "navigation noodle"