An 82-year-old man spent Sunday night on South Sister before being rescued Monday by Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue personnel Monday.
Robert Haynes began his annual solo climb Sunday morning and summited, according to a news release. But night had fallen before he started his descent.
Haynes had been in contact with his wife during the day and reported to her that he would be fine alone on the mountain overnight. He reportedly kept warm by exercising.
Two hikers ascending South Sister around 12:30 p.m. Monday called 911 to report seeing Haynes descending the mountain at an unusually slow pace. Search and rescue personnel were then put on alert for a possible rescue, though Haynes was not requesting assistance at that time.
At approximately 6 p.m., a U.S. Forest Service Wilderness Ranger, who had been in contact with Haynes and provided him with food and water, requested search and rescue personnel assist him in helping Haynes down the mountain. They arrived with a wheeled litter in case Haynes was no longer able to walk. The consensus was that Haynes, though not asking for assistance, could not be allowed to continue his descent without aid of a litter because of the risk of injury.
After personnel on scene spoke at length with Haynes, he agreed to be flown out by helicopter. Air rescue was dispatched to the scene and he was airlifted to St. Charles Bend at approximately 8 p.m.