HOOD RIVER COUNTY, Ore. - A Portland woman who spent three nights on Mt. Hood was in fair condition and recovering at Legacy Emanuel Hospital.

Pamela Salant, 28, suffered a broken left tibia that had her in surgery Wednesday, and also had multiple back injuries and severe cuts. A Blackhawk helicopter crew located and rescued Salant Tuesday afternoon from a drainage along Lindsey Creek in the Mount Hood wilderness.

The words that I wanted to hear for so long were 'hi mom' and that's what she said.

Her mother, Jane Salant, said Pamela crawled to get to areas where people might see her, but she was right near a waterfall so she couldn't hear searchers.

Wearing only a T-short and shorts, Pamela ate berries and bugs and covered herself with moss to stay warm.

Her family planned to travel to Portland from Boston to see her.

We just thought it was really important to see her and she does have some injuries and we just want to be there for her, Jane Salant said.

Hospital spokesman Brian Willoughby said Salant thanked everyone who prayed for her, and the efforts of all who played a part in her rescue.

Her boss at a Portland preschool, Desirae Marks, says hiker Pamela Salant was in good spirits Tuesday night, hours after a helicopter lifted her from a forested canyon.

On Wednesday morning, the hospital upgraded Salant's condition to fair.

Marks says the 28-year-old Salant was in survival mode and didn't lose her cool as she scooted along on her bottom, trying to find a way out of the forest.

Marks says Salant is an avid hiker who tries to convey basic survival skills to the children in her art program at a Portland preschool with an environmental focus.

PHOTOS: Camper airlft rescue

Salant had been reported missing Sunday by her boyfriend Aric Essig. The two had separated Saturday night while searching for a campsite near Bear Lake the day before and a widespread search ensued.

Shoe prints initially led searchers to the area where Salant was found, according to Hood River County Sheriff Joe Wampler.

One (print) was downhill from the other and they kind of matched.. and so we really concentrated all of our efforts downhill from there. You never know what to expect, but this was the result I was hoping for.

A rescue helicopter crew reported seeing a woman wading in a creek, about a mile from Bear Lake, and waving at around 2 p.m. Tuesday.

An Oregon Army NationalGuard Blackhawk crew arrived for the airlift mission around 3:30 p.m. First, they lowered a crew member to the ground. Then, just a short time later, an aerial view from KGW's Sky-8 helicopter showed Salant getting hoisted to safety by the Blackhawk crew.

Raw video: Woman rescued|Helicopter arrives

Salant's boss and friend Desirae Marks was elated when informed by KGW Reporter AmyTroy she had been found Tuesday afternoon.

So that was, Saturday, Sunday, Monday night -- three nights, Marks said. She's strong enough, she's got it, oh my gosh!

Essig said he was impressed by the scale of the effort and investment by volunteers and rescuers.

Just the ability that we had, just of everyone to come out ... everyone was invested in it and interested in seeing it turn out well, I'm very happy about it, he said.

Salant vanished Saturday

Essig said he and his girlfriend dropped their gear at a campsite Saturday afternoon and got separated at Bear Lake while searching for a better overnight spot.

Deputies, Crag Rats, Search I K-9, US Forest Service rangers and National Guard troops were all involved in the search and rescue.

Salant was only wearing light clothing when she got lost and did not have any supplies or a cell phone with her, deputies said.

Fund set up to help

Co-workers say salant's injuries will force her to miss two months of work, and she does not have insurance. They set up a fund for anyone wanting to help via, using the 'send a payment' option, to the email address:

Location of lost camper

View Missing camper in a larger map

KGW Reporters Kyle Iboshi and Amy Troy contributed to this report

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