Injured hiker rescued after technical, hours-long effort at Smith Rock

A Minnesota man was injured at Smith Rock State Park Friday, prompting an hours-long technical rescue effort to get him to safety.

According to Deschutes County Emergency Services Manager Sgt. Nathan Garibay, dispatch was called to a welfare check at the park regarding someone yelling about 3:30 p.m.

While a search and rescue deputy responded to the scene, more information came in about the hiker’s location and that the hiker, identified as 23-year-old Ian Rapp of Woodbury, Minnesota, was possibly injured.

Just before 4 p.m., Deschutes County Search and Rescue was activated to the scene

Garibay said 22 Search and Rescue Volunteers and 2 SAR Deputies responded to the scene along with three personnel from Redmond Fire and Rescue and Oregon State Parks.

SAR Volunteers and a Deputy hiked to the area below where Rapp was believed to be located in the area of Voyage of the Cow Dog, which is a route in the Picnic Lunch Wall climbing area.

It was determined initial rescuers would have to access Rapp’s location from below, while additional rescuers went to the top of the formation to scout a location to establish a system to rescue Rapp.

Four rescuers climbed a multi-pitch route to a location above Rapp, traversed (moved laterally) to a location where they could rappel to Rapp’s location.  The first rescuer, a SAR Medic made it to Rapp at approximately 6:15 pm., Garibay said.

Garibay said Rapp was not in an area where climbers would normally go and appeared to have fallen and tumbled approximately 150 feet to the location from above.  This area was an area of loose and unstable rock.

Rapp appeared to be seriously injured and in a very precarious position.

A technical rope system was rigged above Rapp, which was complicated by terrain and darkness.  Rapp was subsequently raised to the top of the formation and transported by wheeled litter down the Misery Ridge Trail to a waiting Life Flight helicopter, which flew him to St. Charles Medical Center in Bend.

Garibay said Rapp left the scene at approximately midnight.

Images courtesy Deschutes County Search and Rescue



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