Winter weather causes teenagers to get stuck on Mt. Ashland

Ashland, Ore. — The winter weather in higher elevations stranded some teenagers on Mount Ashland this weekend.

Jackson County Search and Rescue says it’s important to be prepared for the conditions.

But if you ever did find yourself unable to make it down the mountain, Calling for help – like the teenagers did – should be your first step.

If that’s not possible, though, Mount Ashland has an emergency shelter.

“They weren’t lost… They just weren’t expecting the weather like it came in,” Sergeant Shawn Richards said.

Saturday night, three teenagers decided to go camping on Mount Ashland.

They hiked in from the road, but when a winter storm suddenly hit, they weren’t prepared for the conditions.

“They hadn’t checked the weather and a storm blew in,” Sergeant Richards said.

Sergeant Shawn Richards with Jackson County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue says that’s not the first time something like that has happened on the mountain.

That’s why they built an emergency shelter three years ago.

“We had a young lady that went out of bounds at Mount Ashland last year that actually was able to get a blanket out of the shelter. And so she stayed warm until we located her,” Sergeant Richards said.

Sergeant Richards says the emergency shelter carries items hikers are always encouraged to have.

That includes clothing, fire starting equipment, water, food and blankets.

“If they can see the orange box in the tree or the shelter, they will be able to know that that’s help,” Sergeant Richards said.

Thankfully, the three teenagers got out safely and didn’t need to use the emergency shelter.

But no matter the circumstances, Sergeant Richards says they did the right thing by calling for help.

“Time and distance is our enemy so the sooner we know about something and the sooner we can apply some sort of resources to it, the better,” Sergeant Richards said.

Jackson County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue says it’s important to always have a plan and to tell a friend or family member what you’ll be doing.

It’s also recommended to take extra food, water and clothing.

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