Searchers find lost hiker near Green Lakes

Said snow patches obscured the trail

BEND, Ore. - A Bend woman who went hiking in the Green Lakes area west of Bend with her dog Thursday called for help when she said patches of snow obscured the trail, leaving her unsure of her location. A rescue team found her about four hours later, officials said.

Deschutes County 911 got a cellphone call around 12:20 p.m. from Melissa Adams-Casper, 44, who said she'd left the Green Lakes Trailhead around 10:30 a.m. and planned to hike to the lake with her dog, Oswald, said sheriff's Sgt. Mike Biondi, Sheriff's Search and Rescue operations manager.

During her hike, Adams-Casper said she encountered patches of snow that obscured the trail, causing her to go off trail.

Biondi said she was asked to call 911 again, in order to determine GPS coordinates from her cellphone, but dispatchers were unable to obtain them.

Adams-Casper said she'd hiked the same route several times, but did not have a map, compass or GPS with her on this hike. She had food and water, but no clothing or gear for an overnight stay, Biondi said.

Two sheriff's deputies and 16 SAR volunteers responded to the call, the sergeant said. Deputies were able to speak to the woman several times by phone and get a general description of her location. Four SAR search teams were sent up several trails, in an attempt to find her.

Around 4 p.m., Adams-Casper called in, saying she had made it back to the Green Lakes Trail, near the second footbridge. About a half-hour later, a search team located her, in good condition, about 2 ½ miles north of the trailhead, and she and her dog were escorted back to her car.

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