Save Mountain Wave

Sometimes we focus on the glamorous. We’re enamored with the high profile. But what is behind the scenes is just as important and so often holds everything together.

Earlier this week an agreement was reached between Portland Mountain Rescue (PMR) and Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office. While we do not know the details of the agreement, that’s great news for PMR, who performs high profile rescue and recovery missions on Mount Hood several times per year. After public outcry via media coverage (so pleased to have had my letter published!), PMR and the Sheriff’s Office made statements indicating they will continue to work together. And sadly, this week’s recovery mission highlighted the need for their expertise on the mountain. This is a traumatic loss that is difficult to describe to anyone who has not experienced it, and my prayers are with this family.

A recent social media post by Mountain Wave Search and Rescue indicates close to 90% of SAR calls by Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office are to request assistance in other areas of the county, besides Mount Hood. Organizations such as Mountain Wave also receive requests from other counties, in the case of missing persons. These persons’ cases are sometimes not well publicized by media, yet their families still look for them, waiting and working for their return. Mountain Wave’s expertise is unmatched, utilizing equipment such as communications rigs, drones, cell phone tracking, overhead support, snow machines, ATVs, human remains detection, and K9s and their handlers. Mountain Wave is funded by private donations and is not supported by government funding. Their members are trained, equipped, and passionate about what they do, volunteering their services for countless hours per year. Mountain Wave was founded in 1992 following the Oregon Episcopal School accident of 1986. For those who haven’t crossed paths with Mountain Wave, their services may have been unnoticed, as you may have benefited from their efforts at local runs and other events, such as the Portland Marathon.

While these missions on Mount Hood are always publicized by our local media, the consistent and dedicated work of organizations like Mountain Wave can go overlooked. Mountain Wave played a significant role in the recovery of my brother on Mount Hood in 2012. I will forever be grateful for their service on normal days as well as dark days, where families of loved ones lost rarely speak of such events. 

Speak out now for Mountain Wave, whose services would be severely limited should Sheriff Roberts decide only to work with PMR, leaving other organizations unheard in this conversation. Mountain Wave has invited the Sheriff to meet, to better understand the needs of both organizations. It is the least Sheriff Roberts can do, given Mountain Wave has done so much for families just like mine. #SaveMtWave