Injured hiker airlifted from Grayback Mountain after multiple rescue attempts

File photo of an Oregon National Guard helicopter (courtesy of the Oregon Military Department).

The Josephine County Sheriff's Office said that extreme conditions kept rescuers from reaching a pair of stranded hikers until the day after they called for help.

Posted: Jan 19, 2021 4:32 PM
Updated: Jan 19, 2021 4:39 PM

CAVE JUNCTION, Ore. — Following multiple rescue attempts, crews from the Oregon National Guard were able to airlift an injured hiker who was stranded on Grayback Mountain overnight.

The Josephine County Sheriff's Office says that it received a report about the injured hiker just before 6 p.m. on Monday. Two hikers had gone up Grayback Mountain, but one of them — a 42-year-old woman — was hurt and unable to get down. The other hiker was able to call for help.

Search & Rescue volunteers from Josephine County tried hiking up to where the two hikers were stranded, about one mile from the Grayback cabin. However, Sheriff's Office said that "extreme conditions" kept search teams from reaching the pair.


RELATED: Couple rescues man stranded on Grayback Mountain (2018)


That night, a Coast Guard helicopter responded to the area, dropping off a paramedic with supplies to get them through the night.

"Due to darkness and weather conditions, retrieving personnel from the mountain was not an option," the Sheriff's Office said.

The next morning, a helicopter crew from the Oregon Army National Guard flew out to the area to pick up the two hikers and the paramedic. Even with the benefit of daylight, poor weather conditions caused more difficulties for the rescue crew.

Only after multiple attempts did the crew manage to retrieve the hikers and the paramedic, bringing them to the Medford Airport. According to the Josephine County Sheriff's Office, the 42-year-old woman is being evaluated for her injuries.

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