Injured Climber Rescued at Smith Rock State Park
BY: Deputy Jeff Winters, Assistant SAR Coordinator

Injured Climber: 20 year old male, John Dentley from Springfield MO.

On 03/14/2015, at about 12:45 p.m., Deschutes County 911 received a call reporting that a rock climber (Dentley) had been injured by a falling rock while climbing in the “Picnic Lunch Wall” area of Smith Rock State Park.  The call was made by Dentley’s climbing partner who reported the two climbers didn’t feel comfortable continuing their climb due to Dentley’s injuries and needed assistance.

A group of 14 Deschutes County Search and Rescue (SAR) Volunteers responded to the area where they joined up with two other SAR members who had been climbing in the area and had already made contact with Dentley and his partner. The two SAR members were able to make an initial medical assessment and communicate by cell phone to SAR Command the extent of Dentley’s injuries and overall condition.

With the assistance of the two SAR volunteers already on scene, Dentley was lowered to the waiting group of rescuers and assisted down several hundred feet of extremely steep scree covered hillside to the walking trail.  Dentley was assessed by members of the Redmond Fire Department and ultimately sought his own medical treatment for his injuries.

The incident appeared to be the result of natural causes.  Deputies learned that Dentley has between one and two years of climbing expericence and was part of a larger group of students in the park from Yale University.  Dentley told Deputies he was injured when a large rock he was holding onto, gave way and struck him as it fell.

A total of 16 SAR volunteers worked with several members of the Redmond Fire Department in the Rescue of Dentley.