Couple Trapped Above Crater Lake – June 17, 1968

Couple Trapped Above Crater Lake

Tri-City Herald

Pacso, Kennewick, Richland, Washington
June 17, 1968

Crater Lake, Ore. (AP) – A young couple made preparations at dusk Sunday to spend a cold night precariously perched 700 feet above Crater Lake in southern Oregon.

The identity of the two young hikers was unknown, as was how they came to be stranded in such an unlikely spot — a tiny ledge on the ancient volcanos nearly vertical rim.

Acting Supt. Paul Larson at Crater Lake National Park said he could net explain how the couple reached the spot without tumbling into the glassy waters of the lake.

Larson was alerted to their plight by tourists who heard cries for help. When he and some 15 rangers failed to reach them on foot, a helicopter was summoned from Medford, Ore. about 45 miles southwest of the park.

Pilot Chris Woudstra, of Rosenbaum Aviation in Medford, recently returned from flying helicopters in Vietnam, decided it was getting too dark to attempt a rescue. He dropped sleeping bags, c-rations and lanterns to the couple, along with a note from Larson explaining the rescue plans.

Woudstra said he would try to lift them off the crater nm at first light Monday.

If he fails, Larson said another way would be found to get to the couple without endangering their lives. To approach them from above, Larson said, would be to invite a rockslide. An approach from below seemed almost impossible.