Hikers rescued near Pole Creek Trailhead after overnight rains


Two hikers were rescued Saturday morning after suffering through overnight rain at Camp Lake outside Sisters, police say.

Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office received a report from Garmin GPS emergency response at around 10:30 a.m., when an emergency alert came from the location near Pole Creek Trailhead, according to Deputy Kyle Joye.

Emergency response was able to call the hiker who sent the alert, who said a weather system had moved in overnight and left them both left wet, cold, and in need of assistance.

A United States Forest Service (USFS) Law Enforcement Officer was also alerted to the emergency around the same time.

A Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Assistant SAR Coordinator found out through texting the hikers that they were both uninjured, but needed help getting back to the trailhead.

Ground teams, medical teams, a horse team and 14 DCSO SAR volunteers showed up to help at the site, reaching 32-year-old Brian Werter and 30-year-old Elyse Zukelich at 3:40 p.m.

SAR teams found out the hikers did not need medical care but needed food, water, and dry clothing before hiking back.

Temperatures were in the low 30’s with mixed snow and rain falling at the time.

An hour later, SAR teams escorted the hikers down the trail, and they reached the trailhead at 7:30 p.m.

Werter and Zukelich were able to leave the premises with their personal car.

The Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the United States Forest Service Law Enforcement Division for their help during this mission.

The Sheriff’s Office would like to remind anybody hiking during this season that conditions can change rapidly and to be prepared for various temperatures and rain/snowfall.

Additionally, keep a close eye on weather forecasts for areas in and around your recreation area.


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