Hypothermic PCT Hiker Rescued in Deschutes National Forest

PCT hiker Hassan Falsafi, 57, of Weaverville, CA was rescued in the Diamond Peaks Wilderness area of Deschutes National Forest, OR by Douglas County Search and Rescue at 4:15 a.m. on Saturday, October 22nd, 2022. According to a Douglas County Sheriff’s Office press release, Falsafi had called 911 the previous evening to report that he had been caught in a weather front and was experiencing symptoms of hypothermia. He told dispatchers that all of his camping supplies, including his clothing and sleeping bag, had been drenched from the storm. The press release described Falsafi as a PCT thru-hiker.

Klamath County Search and Rescue (SAR) initially received the call but requested at around 10 p.m. that Douglas County SAR respond because they lacked the proper resources. Douglas County SAR arrived at the PCT trailhead at Summit Lake and encountered worsening weather conditions as they hiked north toward Falsafi’s location. By the time they reached Falsafi, the temperature had dropped to 30 degrees Fahrenheit and snow had begun to accumulate.

Douglas County SAR treated Falsafi on-site for moderate hypothermia, and after his condition improved, they escorted him back to the trailhead. They returned to the trailhead at approximately seven a.m., where a warm car was waiting for him. After it was determined that an ambulance was not necessary, Falsafi was transported to Roseburg, where he arranged to be met by his family.

Featured image: Photos via Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

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Comments 4

  • Devil Dog : Oct 28th

    Could he have rescued himself? The snow was not deep at all – all he had to do was keep moving to keep warm. If he had cell coverage, could he have foreseen the weather conditions? A PCT thru hiker this far north from Mexico without a pack cover or dry bag to store dry clothing? Please tell me he will be charged a fee for his rescue.

  • FlyBy : Oct 31st

    Teachable moment on what not to do. I was caught in the same storm last Saturday and it wasn’t a big deal. Nylofume pack liner and pack cover. Camped early before the snow hit. Stayed dry and warm all night. Packed up and hiked out in the morning and a friend picked me up next day.

    Why wasn’t this hiker properly prepared? Snow, sleet, freezing temps are always possible at elevation and even more possible after September. I got off trail due to the weather front planning to stick around for a while knowing my gear wasn’t going to cut it and I’d finished my goal for the season, thought I’d get a little more in but you can’t fight Mother Nature if you don’t have the gear.

    • Brock : Dec 13th

      What shell do you use for heavy rains? Thanks

  • lance magnuson : Oct 31st

    The ability for those with no sense to call 911 for back country rescue leads me to believe in Darwinian theory. There are those who simply shouldn’t pass along their genetic make up.


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