A Portland man was plucked by helicopter from the edge of a cliff on South Sister on Thursday evening, according to the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office.
Shortly after 4 p.m. Thursday, 56-year-old Arthur Duncan called 911 and reported that he slid after leaving the South Sister climbers trail and had become stranded at the edge of a cliff.
Using location data provided by his phone, rescue personnel determined that Duncan was stranded at about 9,800 feet, approximately 400 feet below the caldera rim above the Lewis Glacier. He was not prepared for overnight exposure to the weather.
Members of the county’s search and rescue team were flown by AirLink air ambulance to the summit of South Sister while other rescue personnel began to hike up the mountain from the Devils Lake Trailhead.
The first two rescuers made contact with Duncan at about 7:35 p.m., according to the sheriff’s office. They determined that he had suffered only minor injuries.
Duncan reported that he had left the trail after summiting the mountain and slipped, tumbling 50 to 100 feet before catching himself on a rock before falling over the cliff. He stayed on a ledge until rescuers reached him.
Because of his precarious location, an Oregon National Guard Black Hawk helicopter was requested early in the rescue. It arrived at about 8:30 p.m. and hoisted Duncan to safety. He was taken to the Mount. Bachelor West Village Lodge parking lot, where he declined medical care.