Six lost hikers rescued from difficult terrain - KPTV - FOX 12

Six lost hikers rescued from difficult terrain near Multnomah Falls

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Six lost hikers were found uninjured in the Columbia River Gorge, but bringing them to safety was a bit of a challenge for rescuers.

The group says it set off from the Multnomah Falls trail head on Wednesday afternoon and once they started heading back down the trail they took a wrong turn and got lost.

"We decided to find the Columbia River and make our way towards that direction trying to find the shortcut down, but that was a stupid idea," said Julie Fritts, from Grass Valley, who was hiking with the five teens.

The group says they stuck together and stayed positive.

Marissa Leach, 16, was in constant communication with search crews using her cell phone. She said at one point as they tried to find their way to the bottom, they ended up sliding down a steep slope.

"We came through some bushes and there was just a big mudslide and we ended up sliding down it. Once we were on it we couldn't really stop so we had to go down," said Leach.

Early Thursday morning the group was located on a 600-foot steep incline leading down to a cliff. Multnomah County search and rescue teams worked their way slowly toward the hikers while evaluating the terrain, and then brought in Portland Mountain Rescue crews to help.

It was members of the Portland Mountain Rescue team that helped the hikers at the 1,000-foot elevation of Cougar Rock.

The group says they stuck together and stayed positive throughout the night.

The group was not prepared to spend the night out in the wilderness and had very little water and food.

No one in the hiking group was injured. One of the hikers called 911 and reported the group was lost above Multnomah Falls at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday.

More than 24 hours after they set off on the trail, the group was reunited with loved ones near the Oneonta Falls trail head.

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