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Rescue team mobilized after rope failed during canyoneering outing, stranding climbers between waterfalls

COURTESY PHOTO: MULTNOMAH COUNTY SHERIFFS OFFICE - The climbers got stuck on the rocky bluffs of Mundra Creek.Four climbers were rescued near Wahclella Falls Trail in the Columbia River Gorge after a rope got stuck during their descent.

Around 12:25 a.m. Friday, April 30, Multnomah County Sheriff's Office received reports that four people were stuck on the side of a cliff and needed rescue. The climbers said they had been canyoneering, but were unfamiliar with the area.

The four took the Gorge 400 Trail and traversed the rocky bluffs to Munra Creek — a steep canyon with a series of cascading waterfalls. The climbers were equipped with ropes and safety equipment, and were appropriately dressed.

After tying off in the canyon, they ran into trouble when a rope got stuck on the cliffside. One of the climbers got separated from the party, and was stranded between two waterfalls estimated to be 50-65 feet tall. After several hours, and nightfall, the climbers called for help.

Due to the extreme terrain, the Portland Mountain Rescue volunteer group of highly skilled climbers were activated to assist law enforcement. By the time the team reached the climbers, they had spent nearly 10 hours in the canyon. Because of the climbers' fatigue, rescuers decided to lower the trio rather than risk them climbing the steep walls on their own.

All four made it back to their vehicles safely, and passed a health check.

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