Five Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue teams escorted a family with young children down South Sister Sunday night.
David and Carrie Bradley, of Milwaukie, were hiking the peak on Sunday with their three children — a 9-month-old, a 3-year-old, and a 5-year-old — on the climber’s trail while heavy rain and lightning were reported in the area.
The family was found in good condition about 3/4 of a mile from the Devil’s Lake trailhead by a Search and Rescue team around 11 p.m. Sunday night and escorted back to the trailhead without incident.
The Sheriff’s Office received a call from concerned citizens around 7 p.m. Sunday reporting they saw a family with three kids under the age of 5 at the summit of South Sister at about 3 p.m.
The citizens believed the family was not prepared for the conditions based on the clothing they were wearing and the gear they were carrying. At the time of the call it was raining at the trailhead and there was lightning activity on the mountain.
Hikers at the Devil’s Lake trailhead interviewed by the U.S. Forest Service also expressed concern about the family, whom a group of hikers reported seeing at the summit at about 5:30 p.m.
The five Search and Rescue teams, totaling 21 members, began a search in case the family needed assistance.
The Bradley family had departed the trailhead shortly after 4 a.m. Sunday and summited at about 2 p.m., according to a Search and Rescue report. The family spent about three hours on the summit resting before descending and reported they did not encounter any poor weather on their descent.
The Sheriff’s Office urges the public to be prepared when venturing into the high country. It is recommended those on high country excursions bring the “10 essentials”: a source of navigation, sun protection, insulation, illumination, first-aid supplies, a fire starter, a repair kit, nutrition, hydration and an emergency shelter.