Photo Op: Mt. Thielsen

Mt. Thielsen is known as the “Lightning Rod of the Cascades” because of how often it’s peak attracts lightning. Towering at 9,182 feet, the mountain is an extinct shield volcano with unique characteristics. Thielsen is surrounded by Diamond Lake, formed by one of Thielsen’s eruptions, Mount Bailey, and Crater Lake National Park.

Two hikers from Minnesota were rescued from Mount Thielsen Saturday after they got lost in heavy snow. But officials from the Douglas County Sheriff's Office said the hikers' preparedness saved them.

Kaia Fink, 28, and her 67-year-old father David Fink from St. Louis Park, Minnesota, were hiking the Pacific Crest Trail and lost track of the trail in the snow. They hiked into an extremely treacherous area near the peak of Mt. Thielsen and found themselves stranded, according to the sheriff's office.

The Douglas County Search and Rescue team was notified Friday night about 9 p.m. that an SOS signal was being sent from the mountain. The search team was able to get within about 1,500 feet of the hikers but due to the dangerous terrain was unable to get any closer.

A Black Hawk helicopter was deployed from Salem Saturday morning and the National Guard was able to hoist the hikers out and fly them to safety. Neither required medical attention. 

The hikers had personal locator devices and were well-prepared to survive the ordeal, according to authorities. The hikers began their journey on the Pacific Crest Trail in Mexico in April.

Just last week a 23-year-old Roseburg man had to be rescued near the mountain after he too became lost in the snow while hiking along the PCT.

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Dan Bain is the health reporter for The News-Review. He previously worked at KPIC and 541 Radio.

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