SOUTH SISTERS HIKERS RESCUED
News Release from Deschutes Co. Sheriff’s Office
Location: South Sister Summit
Rescued: Dominique Tanton, 22-year-old female, Bend, OR
Rescued: Caroline Chenoweth, 21-year-old female, Fort Worth, TX
On August 17th, 2016 at about 4:30 PM, Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue was dispatched to a report of two hikers who had reached the summit of South Sister, but were not physically able to descend on their own. A DCSOSAR Deputy was able to communicate with the hikers by phone, who were identified as Tanton and Chenoweth.
Tanton advised they had run out of water about half way through their day hike and were now at the summit feeling physically ill from the heat and altitude. Neither were prepared for cold weather. Both hikers reported being exhausted and unable to hike any further, leaving them exposed to the summit weather conditions. Additionally, their cell phones were nearly out of power. Prior to calling for help, they had flagged down a passerby on the summit that provided them with a small amount of water. Tanton and Chenoweth were now alone on the summit with no one around to potentially assist them.
Five Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Volunteers, comprised of Medical and Mountain Rescue Personnel, responded to the Devil’s Lake Trailhead and ascended the trail on foot through the night, making contact with the two females at about 11:00 PM. Tanton and Chenoweth were both treated at the summit and guided down the mountain by the DCSOSAR Team. The DCSOSAR team and female hikers arrived back at Devil’s Trailhead at about 6:00am, where Tanton’s mother was waiting to further assist Tanton and Chenoweth, who did not require any further medical attention.
The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind those that recreate outdoors to prepare accordingly for your activity. Some considerations include proper clothing for day and night conditions in your environment, as well as footwear. Ensure you have adequate water and food, topographical trail maps, extra batteries or charging options for phones or GPS units. Bring a light source and a signaling device. Seek out information regarding the area and what may be encountered, such as current and projected weather conditions as well as terrain in the area. Tell someone where you are going, what you will be taking with you and when you plan to return.