WELCHES, Ore. — 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.
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.
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’s been sunny the past few days. It’s unclear if Mitchell had supplies.
“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.”