BRIDAL VEIL, Ore -- Searchers found a Beaverton man early Friday morning who had been missing on a hike at Horsetail Falls in the Columbia Gorge.

Scott Morrison, 43, called 911 around 5:20 p.m. saying he was lost in the woods near Horsetail Falls. He told dispatchers he had no flashlight and could not see the trail.

A formal search began about 8:45 p.m.. He was found about 1:45 a.m. Friday at 3,000 feet elevation. Temperatures dipped to near freezing overnight and searchers had hoped for a quick discovery. He was wearing jeans, a t-shirt and a lightweight jacket.

Through cell phone contact, Morrison told searchers he used a backpack and hat to fuel the start of a fire to keep him warm. He also kept in touch with his wife to reassure her he was fine.

Rescuer Jonas Benoit, who turned 18 years old on Friday, found Morrison with another searcher. He was ecstatic about the outcome and told KGW there's no other feeling . . .that's who you're looking for, and you find him.

Though Morrison started the hike at Horsetail Falls, it was easier for rescuers to walk him out at the Oneonta Gorge trailhead.

Morrison told rescuers that he has gone on the same hike about seven years earlier, but he did not remember that it was so long. The switch to standard time added to the time crunch for completing the hike.

The sheriff's office said a key to his rescue was that once Morrison was lost he stayed put.

Officials said hikers should ideally carry a map, compass, flashlight, extra food and water, extra clothing, fire starter, knife, first aid kit, signaling device and a GPS and a cell phone with extra battery.

Officials also said to not lie directly on the ground but find boughs or leaves to lie on. They also urged those who are lost to stay out of the wind and rain if possible but remain visible to searchers. Bright clothing hung from a limb is also extremely helpful.

Read or Share this story: