February 18th, 2018

Climber falls, others stranded on Oregon’s Mount Hood

By Steven Dubois And Gillian Flaccus, The Associated Press on February 13, 2018.

GOVERNMENT CAMP, Ore. – Rescuers scrambled up Oregon’s tallest peak Tuesday after a climber fell several hundred feet and four others were stranded, authorities said.

Russell Gubele of Mountain Wave Search and Rescue said he was unable to release information about the climber’s condition. He said it’s unclear how far the climber fell, with reports varying from several hundred feet to 1,000 feet (304 metres).

The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, which is co-ordinating the rescue operation, said other climbers were providing aid as crews tried to reach the scene.

KOIN-TV reports that video taken from a helicopter showed people performing CPR on the injured climber, who is believed to be a man.

Separately, a party of four climbers is stranded and one of them is hurt, said Sgt. Brian Jensen, a sheriff’s office spokesman.

The stranded climbers were on the Hogsback area near the summit of the 11,240-foot (3,429-meter) mountain about 60 miles (97 kilometres) east of Portland.

“I don’t know that any advice has been given (to them) yet,” Gubele said. “We have to get some folks on the scene to do some assessing.”

Mount Hood is a popular climbing site that has seen dozens of accidents and fatalities over the years. Thousands climb it each year, mostly in the spring.

The peak is notorious for loose ice and rocks in warm weather.

The sun has been out this week and the temperature was around freezing at the spot where the climber fell, Gubele said.

“This is the kind of weather conditions and the time of year where you often get falling ice, falling rocks and problems,” Gubele said. “It sounds like the conditions up there are very unsafe right now.”

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Dubois reported from Portland, Oregon.

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