Officials stress preparation for hikers, warn of tricky trail conditions

Law enforcement and search and rescue personnel encourage adventurers to plan ahead, use the buddy system and tell loved ones where they’re headed as they venture into the Columbia River Gorge or the Northwest’s other wonders as the weather warms. Trails can be tricky this time of year, a Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office spokesman said, citing slick and snowy conditions, as well as erosion caused by a wet season thus far.

Outdoor enthusiasts should keep watch for things like slippery rocks, downed trees, rockslides and erosion at edges of rocky outcroppings, Lt. Chad Gaidos, spokesman, said.

“While there are beautiful views out there, they can be treacherous this time of year because the rock that’s been stable the 15 to 20 years prior is not stable, as it’s been washed out,” he said of outcroppings people venture onto in search of views.

Conditions aside, hikers and others seeking an outdoor fix should stick to standard ground rules to keep themselves safe, officials said.

You’ll want appropriate clothes and footwear, extra food and water, a map and compass, sunscreen, first-aid supplies and other basic gear. The “10 essentials” are a good place to start.

You should also notify others of where you’re headed, what route you plan to take and when you plan to return. Bringing a friend and picking a trek that’s within your ability level are probably good ideas, too.

Get more safety info here…


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