A hiker missing for almost five days near Oregon’s Mount Hood has been found alive, authorities said Thursday.
Sgt. Sean Collinson of the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office said Nathan Mitchell was found by friends in the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness. He was about 400 feet off the trail, apparently unaware he was so close to it.
After spotting him from a distance, the friends signaled to a search and rescue team above them on the trail.
Nathan Mitchell (pictured with friends and family) has been found alive near Oregon’s Mount Hood after missing for nearly five days
Mitchell was found by friends in the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness. He was about 400 feet off the trail, apparently unaware he was so close to it
Mitchell was able to walk out but was weak, Collinson said. Authorities plan to interview him about what happened, but he was first taken to a hospital for an evaluation.
‘He was very pale and pretty spent, so we just didn’t get a chance to find out what really happened,’ Collinson said.
Mitchell, 34, a Portland attorney, had gone for a day hike Saturday in Wildwood Recreation Area near Welches. He was reported missing the next day, triggering the days-long search by rescuers and his friends.
His parents said that he drank water from creeks and did not eat the entire time he was missing
Mitchell (pictured) is currently being treated for dehydration and exhaustion. He only had a single bottle of water with him during his ordeal
Searchers earlier this week found a rain cover from Mitchell’s backpack about five miles from the parking area where he left his car.
The weather was bad on the first day of the search, but it had been sunny the past few days. Family members said that Mitchell had taken only a single bottle of water for his day-long hike.
The Portland attorney, had gone for a day hike Saturday in Wildwood Recreation Area near Welches. He was reported missing the next day
‘This is the best day of my life. The other best day of my life was when both my children were born,’ Chuck Mitchell told KATU.
‘The worst day of my life was two days ago when I was running around the base of cliffs with professionals looking for his body. I have never been so happy in my life. I have never had so much respect for all of these people helping us.’
His parents also said that he drank water from creeks and did not eat the entire time he was missing.
He is currently being treated for dehydration and exhaustion. He has also been diagnosed with trench foot, a medical condition caused by prolonged exposure to damp, unsanitary, and cold conditions.
‘In a situation like that, if you have a little bit of food with you and a way to keep yourself dry, you can actually survive a long time,’ said Russ Gubele, president of Mountain Wave Search and Rescue. ‘There’s plenty of water up there.’