4 rescued after becoming stranded in Columbia River Gorge

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Crews rescued four people who got stuck on the side of a cliff while exploring canyons in the Columbia River Gorge, authorities said.

The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office received a report about 12:30 a.m. that the group had been stranded for about 10 hours and needed to be rescued, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.

The sheriff’s office said the group, who had proper safety equipment and were dressed appropriately, started at the Wahclella Falls Trailhead east of Multnomah Falls.

The group had taken the Gorge 400 Trail and reached a steep canyon that features several cascading waterfalls.

One canyoneer became separated from the rest of the group when a rope became stuck during a descent, the sheriff’s office said. The canyoneer was stranded between two waterfalls, and their companions were not able to get them out of the area safely.

The canyoneers called for help after several hours. Four Portland Mountain Rescue crew members reached the stranded canyoneers, lowered three of them down the side of a 50-foot (15-meter) waterfall and helped the person who was stuck.

The rescuers then helped the group cross a stream and a rocky slope before they all hiked back to the trailhead.

The sheriff’s office said canyoneering is becoming more popular. The agency urged canyoneers to research and scout their objectives, take extra gear and create an emergency plan before leaving a trailhead.

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