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Rescuers help missing hikers to safety on Eagle Creek Trail

Local rescue crews located a pair of missing hikers in western Hood River County and escorted them to safety early Monday morning.

The couple — an adult man and woman from Portland — were hiking on Eagle Creek Trail Sunday evening when they got lost, explained Sgt. Pete Hughes with the Hood River County Sheriff’s Office.

The hikers lost their way at some point after descending in the Ruckle Creek area, Hughes said, and they called authorities for help at about 6:30 p.m.

Deputy Chris Guertin with the sheriff’s office and members of the Crag Rats, a volunteer mountain rescue group, responded to Eagle Creek. Mountain Wave Emergency Communications Inc. helped in locating the pair via cell phone tracking technology.

“Crag Rats located (the) lost hikers just after 1 a.m. and walked them out at 4:50 a.m.,” Hughes said.

There were no injuries, he said.

Eagle Creek Trail, a popular hiking destination, is located about two miles west of Cascade Locks. The trailhead is accessible from exit 41 on Interstate 84.

The incident wasn’t the only search and rescue logged by responders in the Columbia Gorge.

In the west Gorge, KATU-TV news station reported that Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office officials rescued two hikers at a trail near Wahkeena Falls Sunday evening. Both were in good health.

Icy conditions on roads and trails have recently delayed emergency crews, according to Multnomah County Search and Rescue.

“Team responding to a mission in the Gorge. Still extremely hazardous conditions out there. Please hike safe,” the sheriff’s office Tweeted Sunday.

In a third incident, on Mount Hood, a missing snowboarder was found safe Sunday, according to a report by KGW-TV news station (see story on page A2).

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