Entries in Pamela Salant (2)


Oregon Hiker Fell 50 Feet, Survived Three Days on Bugs, Berries

ABC News(PORTLAND, Ore.) -- An Oregon hiker who fell 50 feet off a cliff and spent three nights alone in a national forest said that she was unwilling to die after the accident, and ate caterpillars and berries to survive.

An Oregon Army National Guard air search team spotted 28-year-old Pamela Salant and rescued her from the Mount Hood National Forest last week.  Salant had been missing since July 31 after she got lost and fell during a camping trip with her boyfriend.

"I didn't even feel myself landing; I just sort of like waking up and like,  'Whoa what just happened?' and then looking at my leg and then seeing like it was at a bowed kind of angle," Salant told reporters from her bedside on Monday.

She says that after the fall she stayed close to a creek to keep her bearings and have access to water.  While recovering in a hospital she told reporters that her survival instincts kicked in.  Since she was only wearing shorts and a tank top at the time of the accident, she covered herself with moss to stay warm.

"That drive to live was so strong for me, and I just like really felt like I just wasn't done yet," she said.  "I never wanted to give up really, I just was not certain my body could handle it with my broken leg and I was...crawling all over, around waterfalls and on the riverbed, so I was kinda doing some dangerous things."

She said that during her ordeal she attempted to eat a snail-like forest mollusk, which "looked really tasty, but it was not."  She spat it out.

Crawling and scooting because she was unable to walk on her broken leg, Salant moved more than a mile from where she fell along a drainage path in hopes of reaching the Columbia River.

"I just kept pushing through all the pain.  I just wanted to keep going," she said.

Her boyfriend Aric Essig called for help when she didn't return, and volunteers and rescue workers searched for her.  On Monday night, she thanked all of those who aided in her rescue.

"I'm just so thankful that I'm here," she said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Missing Hiker Found After 3 Days in Forest

Hood River County Sheriff's Office(PORTLAND, Ore.) -- Pamela Salant spent three nights lost in the Oregon wilderness, relying on moss to keep warm and creek water to stay hydrated. She ate berries and caterpillars, and conjured up images from Touching the Void, a harrowing tale of survival in the Andes, to help guide her.

And on Tuesday afternoon, Pamela Salant, 28, a teacher in Southeast Portland, was rescued by an Oregon Army National Guard helicopter after she was spotted sitting on a log in Mt. Hood National Forest's Lindsey Creek. She had broken her leg after a 50-foot fall when she went off the trail, and had been propelling herself toward what she hoped would be the Columbia River -- and rescue -- by scooting along on her buttocks.

Her adventure started on Saturday when Salant was hiking with her boyfriend, Aric Essig, in Mt. Hood National Forest. The two had parted company shortly after noon, after dropping off their gear near Bear Lake, for what was expected to be a short while.

"I walked all around the lake expecting to meet up with her at some point, and I walked all the way back to the camp and just didn't see her," Essig told ABC News affiliate KATU.

Sunday morning, when Essig had not seen or heard from his girlfriend, he called the sheriff's office to report her missing, igniting a massive search of the area that included "30 ground searchers and dog teams and a lot of experienced searchers," according to Matt English, detective and PIO with Hood River Sheriff's Office.

Salant, meanwhile, was lost in one of the roughest areas of the Oregonian wilderness, known for its steep drops and thick vegetation, right where the Cascade Mountains meet the Columbia River Gorge. She had no cellphone with her.

She was scooting along Lindsey Creek, hoping to reach the Columbia River. She was unable to reach the Columbia but ended up in a steep drainage area about a mile and a half from her initial destination.

Sheriff Joe Wampler said the helicopter crew spotted Salant sitting on a log in the creek, waving, and sent a medical rescue helicopter from Salem to get her out. The sheriff also said that while she would have been easier to find if she had stayed near her initial fall sight, she did the next best thing by following a body of water.

Salant was airlifted to Legacy Emmanuel Medical Center, where doctors said she was in serious condition. She remains resilient. According to English, "She's a bit beat up, but she's talking and coherent."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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