Search & rescue team gives Multnomah Falls some much needed TLC

At 620 feet, Multnomah Falls is the tallest waterfall in Oregon. It’s awe-inspiring, making it one of the most popular destinations in the Pacific Northwest. Each year, 2 million people visit the dramatic, two-tiered falls, taking pictures from all angles, but very few get to see it suspended on a rappel rope, from below the footbridge.

Tony Hobkirk and his search and rescue team received a rare call – rappel off Multnomah Falls and pick up trash. Hobkirk says the Forest Service asked Pacific Northwest Search and Rescue to remove a drone that had crashed on the cliff wall near the lower falls.

“It’s incredibly beautiful there,” Hobkirk said of rappelling from the footbridge. “You don’t get to hang from places like that very often.”

Hobkirk says the challenge wasn’t picking up trash; he says his team had to rappel correctly and quickly because they had to temporarily close the hiking trail. “We don’t get to do this stuff very often,” he said. “There were hundreds and hundreds of people there, all taking pictures of us and watching us.”

“We found a lot of random things you would expect to have people drop off the bridge there when they were up there by the falls and taking pictures,” he said. He says they found sandals, sunglasses, clothing, cans, food wrappers and a cellphone, which they’ve turned over to the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office. They also safely removed the drone.

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