SALEM -- The search was called off Wednesday for a man who was separated from his party while hiking in a remote area of the Willamette National Forest last Thursday, deputies said.
Ronald Ohm, 52, was hiking with two people from the Portland area on a ridge above Russell Lake just north of Mt. Jefferson Thursday afternoon. Friends said that Ohm lingered behind to take some photographs while the other hikers went ahead to establish a camp at the lake.
"We went down to make camp and notified Ron, 'We'll meet you down there at Russell Lake,'" said his friend Troy Farr. "And we waited for a few hours and didn't see him."
Ohm never showed up at the camp. His hiking partners could not find him Friday, so they hiked out in the evening to call for help from authorities, according to said Don Thomson with the Marion County Sheriff's Department.
"The next day, we proceeded to look for him a little bit more and then went ahead and took off back toward the car," Farr added. "So we could go tell somebody and get some more people to help us look for him."
Background: Weekend search for missing hiker
The search continued through Wednesday, by ground and with the help of a helicopter crew. More than 200 people spent about 3,500 total hours searching 300 square miles of the forest, Thomson said.
The search Wednesday was hampered by smoke from a wildfire moving west from Warm Springs.
"The decision to end the active search was made after exhausting all available leads and weighing an assessment of Mr. Ohm's survivability, which was completed by a physician," Thomson added. "Ohm suffered from a medical condition that required daily medications."
Ohm is an experienced hiker familiar with the area.
"We've been hiking for 12 years together and he was a hiker before I met him," Farr told KGW. "Normally Ron is a great hiker. He outpaces me. He's a few years older than me, but he can take off and leave me whenever he wants to."
Ohm was only equipped with enough food and supplies to last him through Sunday, Thomson said.
"Ohm's family members were at the Command Post throughout the search and expressed their appreciation for the effort given to find their relative," he said. "They supported the decision to end the search."
KGW Reporter Erica Heartquist contributed to this report.