6 Days Alone on Mt. Hood: Niece, Mary Owen, Recovering from Hiking Accident

By Sterling D. Allan
Pure Energy Systems News

My niece, 23-year old hiker, Mary Owen, is a national news celebrity, after being rescued off Mt. Hood in Oregon, USA, yesterday by Clackamas County Search and Rescue, after an injury immobilized her last Sunday.

According to my sister, Shelli, on Mary’s ascent from the South side, where she had parked in the ski resort Saturday night, thick cloud cover came in, and she started her descent to get below the clouds, but became disoriented in the white-out conditions. Near the base of the mountain around 4 am Monday, she fell into a ravine and injured her ankle and received an 8-inch gash about 1-inch wide in her leg and was immobilized.

Mary-Owen_climbing_400hShe is no novice hiker. A couple of summers ago she hiked the Pacific Coast Trail (PCT) from Mexico to Canada, and passed most hikers she encountered. Her nickname among her hiking friends is “DD” for “Dare-Devil.” She’s one sturdy female, and her Christian faith in God also motivate her.

She had filed a hiking plan at the base of the mountain a week ago, Saturday, before her intended hike to the summit. However, for some reason, no one saw that document, and it wasn’t until Thursday 8:15 P.M. that a missing person report was filed by her parents, and searching began in earnest.

Mary thought that because she had filed the hiking plan, that rescue would be a day or two away, not a week.

She had some food and some chia seed that kept her going, but since she was planning to only be out for the day, her food and clothing were far short of her needs, with this accident. She built a snow cave, which is how she was able to stay out of the elements well enough to stay alive.

She was able to start a fire once, and tried lighting a tree on fire, as a signal, but was unable to get it to take.

At first, no one in her family even know where she was, that she had been hiking, until they found her truck parked at the Timberline Lodge and Ski Area parking lot at southern base of Mt. Hood.

According to NBC News, deputies called Timberline Lodge Thursday, and the manager on duty said Owen’s vehicle, a white 1998 Toyota 4-Runner was parked in the lot. Investigators said the vehicle looked like it had been parked there for some time.

I talked to the Sheriff’s office, and they said that the coordinates of where Mary was found are: 45.3680166,-121.745000 (on the West side). They said that a couple of hikers report having had lunch with Mary near the top of Mt. Hood last Sunday.

A National Guard helicopter found her by following what turned out to be her tracks down the mountain.

So by the time my brother-in-law, Bruce arrived at the base of the mountain, yesterday morning, where 50 search and rescue people had assembled earlier that morning, the news had just come in that they had found someone, and were hoisting her into the helicopter.

A few minutes later, they confirmed that it was her. He fell to his knees, overcome with gratitude that their prayers had been answered. And the news started trickling out:


Mary has some severe frostbite in both feet, but some of her toes are already starting to pink up, according to Shelli. “After getting bathed, she looks remarkably well,” Shelli said.


I awoke at 2 am this morning, concerned about how they are going to pay for all of this; and I thought I might start a crowdfunding campaign to help recoup the costs. But it turns out that they are in pretty good shape.

I understand from the Sheriff’s office that there are not likely to be any S&R expenses, as that is a volunteer operation. They’re allowed to charge up to $500, but they never have, in so many years. Huge thanks to them, and major kudos!

And I learned from Shelli that Mary has insurance that is likely to cover the hospital expenses. Good Morning America is doing a segment on her this morning.

She did joke yesterday, when so much media was trying to interview her (she hasn’t given any interviews yet), “I’ll do the interview if they cover my college tuition.”

This episode has had me quite involved. I contacted my intuitive friends (a married couple that I’ve given two other reports from recently) on Friday, and they actually pinpointed a location and surroundings that were quite accurate, though not close enough that a ground search would have found her from those coordinates.

The plan was for the helicopter to go there first thing in the morning. I’d like to think that their circling around that location was was alerted Mary to their approach, and that she was able to emerge from her snow cave to be visible by the time they came to her location on Sandy Glacier. Also, I’d like to think that maybe after not finding her at the place indicated by my intuitive friends, that the helicopter then found the tracks descending the mountain, which led to where Mary was — a case of “head here” when destination B ends up being the targeted location, though target A was an important step toward finding B. Details are still coming in.

Hood-map-intuitive-v-found_labeled_600After I posted this story, the intuitive couple sent me their Google map showing the different things they had marked. The primary one getting a reading on this first pinpointed a spot that was just 1/2 mile away from where Mary was found. But she doubted herself when her husband pointed out that there were not any obvious roads in that region, so she moved her spot down to the one given to S&R, which seemed to approximately match the terrain she was picking up on.

The intuitives picked up on the broken or severely sprained ankle (Mary thought she had broken it, so that is probably why they picked up on that term), hence the immobility.. They picked up on the fact that she was still alive and not dying and confident that she would be found. And they picked up on the fact that she was out of the snowy area indicated on Google Maps. They said she had a space blanket type of thing to help keep her warm, though she was cold. That hasn’t been confirmed yet.

There were a few things they may have gotten wrong (we’re still awaiting all the details), such as the intended destination, and route taken. But overall, it seems their reading was not only quite accurate, but instrumental in locating Mary first thing Saturday morning (if my presumptions above end up being true).

March 31, 4:15 pm Update: I’ve been told that the National Guard helicopter that found her was not part of the S&R and was just flying over and happened to spot the tracks heading down the mountain, and knowing of Mary’s being missing, followed the tracks. Shelli said that Mary did not make those tracks that went right to her position, because she came to that from a different angle.

On Friday, I informed my friend and colleague in the New Energy Movement, Joel Garbon, about this development, since he lives in Portland, near Mount Hood. He called me yesterday, so glad to have heard the news of her being found. Having a daughter around that age, he could very much relate to what my Sister and brother in law must be feeling. He was in tears of gratitude, as was I.

Several people I know of had intuitively picked up on the fact that she would be found yesterday, including my dad, wife, mother-in-law, Susan Manning.

I expect that we’ll see a book come out of this experience, and I’ve encouraged Mary (via her Facebook page) that she start a crowdfunding page for her college expenses, offering an advance pdf copy of her book, and a blog as she tells the story of her saga on the mountain, alone, cold, and hungry for 7 days.

Here is a “A Get-Well-Soon gift from the S.F. Spring Serve team to you Friend..” posted on Facebook for Mary:

feet-gift_Rusty-StCyrs-Photos_400This, and my having a visioning meeting with our Safe Haven Villages intentional community group yesterday, are the primary reasons why I didn’t get a news bullet up in our news yesterday — a first since I began posting Free Energy News nearly 11 years ago.

Update, Sunday, March 31: Here’s a photo my photographer niece, Rachael took of Mary today:

130331_Mary-hospital_500Looking at that photo, you would hardly know she had just been through this encounter.

I think I mis-titled this story. Even though there weren’t other people around her during this ordeal, she obviously was not “alone” up there.

Before-After Photos

Posted with permission of Mary Owens, April 4, 2013





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Other Coverage

After Found

Before Found

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