Two Portland area rock climbers became stuck, dangling in the air below Monkey Face at Smith Rock State Park Tuesday afternoon. And once again, Deschutes County Search and Rescue (SAR) came to the rescue.
Mid-afternoon on Tuesday Joseph Henderson called 9-1-1 Dispatch, reporting he and his climbing partner, Simuel Dekalita, had become stuck on a rock ledge while trying to climb Monkey
Face at Smith Rock State Park. Henderson further reported he and his partner were safely attached to an anchor above the first pitch of the climb, but were unable to move further, due to their rope being stuck.
Nine Mountain Rescue Volunteers from the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Unit as well as one Sheriff’s Deputy responded and hiked the Misery Ridge Trail carrying with them ropes and rescue gear to lower themselves down to where the two men were stranded. The rescuers rappeled down to the stuck climbers and eventually got them lowered to the ground. The rescued climbers were not injured.
Smith Rock State Park and its surrounding area has nearly 2,000 different climbing routes with varying degrees of difficulty. The rescued climbers were not familiar with the park or the route they intended to climb. They also ran out of water and were extremely thirsty.
As we approach hot summer weather, taking along extra water no matter where you recreate is always a good idea. The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office strongly recommends that those who want to do some climbing at Smith Rock State Park, do so with experienced climbers who are familiar with the intended climbing routes.