By: Deputy Kyle Joye, Assistant Search and Rescue Coordinator
Rescued Climber: Sam Reiser, 24 years old from Dundee, OR
Rescued Climber: Chris Sands, 23 years old from Lancaster, PA
On 12-19-20, at about 4:25 pm Sam Reiser called 9-1-1 Dispatch, reporting he and his climbing partner, were stuck on a cliff face approximately 60 ft from the ground while rappelling a cliff face known as “wherever I may roam” in Smith Rock State Park. Sam further reported he and his partner were safely attached to an anchor, but were unable to move further, due to their rope being stuck.
Ten Mountain Rescue Volunteers from the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Unit as well as two DCSO Deputies responded to Smith Rock State Park to assist. One volunteer hiked to the top of the climbing trail as a hasty member while the other team members followed with additional ropes and rescue gear.
The hasty member of the team was able to access the climbers rope and clear an obstruction allowing the climbers to continue their rappel. The rescued climbers were not injured and did not require medical attention. Volunteers and Deputies assisted the climbers back to the staging area and eventually back to their vehicle.
The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office is a full service agency that oversees the adult jail, provides patrol, criminal investigations, civil process and search and rescue operations. Special units include SWAT, Marine Patrol, ATV Patrol, Forest Patrol, along with six K9 teams. Founded in 1916 and today led by your duly elected Sheriff L. Shane Nelson, the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office serves over 200,000 residents in Deschutes County. The agency has 259 authorized and funded personnel, which includes 191 sworn employees who provide services to the 3,055 square miles of Deschutes County.