Hiker takes tumble off waterfall as crews use rope system to execute elaborate rescue

A 74-year-old Oregon man was rescued after falling nearly 40 feet over a cliff near the base of Sahalie Falls.

In a social media post, the Sweet Home Fire and Ambulance District said that first responders arrived at the base of the falls on Wednesday afternoon after reports of a hiker down.

The man had fallen approximately 40 feet over a cliff near the base of the falls.

“Thankfully, he sustained non-life-threatening injuries but was unable to walk and extremely cold due to being so close to the falls,” the Fire District said.

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Lane and Linn County Search and Rescue teams set up a lengthy rope system to “to raise the patient up the face of a cliff to the trail where he was then carried back down to the parking lot approximately a half-mile away,” the Fire Department said.

During the treacherous climb, rescuers decided to use a helicopter call to lift the man to Riverbend Hospital.

Due to the remote area of the hike, the landing zone was established by a nearby highway.

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First responders thanked the multiple agencies used to insure a safe rescue, while reminding residents to stay safe while outdoors.

“We would like to thank our outstanding partners who helped make this a successful outcome,” the release said. “We would also like to take this time and remind all of you to be safe when enjoying the outdoors. Plan ahead and know your limitations to help you stay safe.”

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Sahalie Falls are located along the McKenzie Pass-Santiam Pass and West Cascades National Scenic Byways off Highway 126 along Oregon’s Cascade Mountain Range. 

The loop trail is approximately 2.4 miles long.