PORTLAND, Ore. — Authorities in Oregon say a hiker died after falling 100 feet at Smith Rock State Park.
Chaitanya Sathe, 35, fell while making his way down a climbers' path toward the northeast Lower Gorge Saturday, according to the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office. Sathe died at the scene, police said.
Sathe was a member of the Mazamas hiking group.
"Yesterday we lost a dear member of our community. While out on a personal day of climbing at Smith Rock State Park, Chaitanya Sathe suffered a fatal fall while descending 4th class terrain into the Lower Gorge," said a message sent out to members.
"As climbers, we recreate in environments with objective hazards. We engage in a lifetime of learning to lessen risk, but, as we all know, it is not possible to eliminate risk entirely. When accidents occur, we find ourselves asking and being asked many questions—from media, friends, and families. While we know there are and will be unanswered questions, we encourage all of us not to speculate or draw conclusions as to what may have happened. We will do our part, as Mazamas, to learn and share what we can," the statement also said.
Sathe was going into the Lower Gorge at Smith Rock State Park when he fell, the statement said.
The group is offering counseling for its members and memorial service plans are pending.
The Mazamas also released a statement to the media. Here's the full text of that statement:
The Mazamas are deeply saddened to lose one of our members to a climbing accident on August 24th at Smith Rock State Park. Chaitanya Sathe, an active member of the Mazamas, passed away while on a personal climbing trip. We extend our deepest and heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.
The climbing accident occurred in the Lower Gorge of Smith Rock State Park. Chaitanya Sathe fell while down climbing to the base of the climbing area. His climbing partner was ahead of him and did not see the accident occur. Two climbers below responded to Chaitanya Sathe who was pulseless and not breathing at the base of the cliff where his body came to rest.
The Mazamas is a 125-year-old non-profit organization based in Portland, Ore. whose mission is to inspire everyone to love and protect the mountains. The Mazamas is a community of 3,700 climbers, hikers, skiers, and runners who actively engage in education; stewardship and advocacy; youth and community outreach; and promoting mountain culture.