Columbia River Gorge, Ore. — Nov. 11, 2022 – Volunteers with Pacific Northwest Search and Rescue will be training on the slopes at Multnomah Falls on Nov. 15. During the training, Larch Mountain Trail (# 441) will be closed as a safety precaution for most of the day between Benson Bridge and the top of Multnomah Falls.
Part of the training includes trash removal throughout the steep terrain from the top of Multnomah Falls down to the base of the waterfall, benefiting future visitors to the most visited natural recreation site in the Pacific Northwest.
“We are grateful to the volunteers of PNWSAR for their ability and willingness to remove trash from places we can’t easily access,” said Christy Cheyne, acting Forest Supervisor in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. “This training event helps to keep this destination pristine for future visitors.”
There will be about 16 volunteers participating in this training exercise that includes the use of high angle rope systems. All members of the Rope Support Team are certified by Rescue 3 International, the world’s leading provider of technical rescue training.
“Our team looks forward to this event every year,” said Scott Houser, a senior member of the PNWSAR rope team. “It’s an opportunity to do technical rope work in a unique and beautiful place while helping to keep it clean so everyone can continue to enjoy it.”
PNWSAR is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization dedicated to providing search and rescue assistance for people who are lost or injured out of doors. They provide ground search teams and other SAR resources to the official agencies responsible for search and rescue activities in the region. They are on call 24 hours a day and 365 days a year to respond quickly when called by the Sheriff at any time and are equipped to operate in challenging weather and terrain.
PNSWSAR’s Rope Support Team completes monthly training in addition to their general search and rescue training to remain prepared for any rescue situations requiring rope skills.
The idea to partner PNWSAR with the U.S. Forest Service was hatched last year by local citizen, outdoor enthusiast, and creative thinker Diane Noxon, who wanted to figure out a way to keep difficult-to-reach areas clear of unsightly trash in the Scenic Area.