Climber dies in fall from OR peak, others stranded for hours


One climber is dead, and seven others were stranded on Tuesday on Oregon's Mount Hood as rescuers had a tough time navigating through hard conditions to reach the climbers, the Oregonian reported.

Another group of three climbers was able to walk down the mountain under their own power after rescuers reached them.

The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office says rescuers assisted three climbers to safety.

A Black Hawk helicopter crew arrived from Salem and reached the group of climbers around 1 p.m.

An Oregon National Guard spokesman said that climber was estimated to have fallen 700 to 1,000 feet.

By the time rescue crews arrived, the man was bleeding, had injuries to his face and his respiration was on and off, the Oregonian newspaper reported, citing state search and rescue coordinator Scott Lucas.

Authorities said weather conditions in the Hogsback area on Mount Hood were expected to worsen overnight.

Three climbers who were with the climber who fell joined the second group to wait for rescue crews, according to deputies. Freezing level was around 9,000 feet, below where the climber fell at 10,500 feet.

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Jensen said it was possible there were more people on the mountain who had not been in communication with authorities.

Talley, who said he's climbed the mountain about 20 times and has never seen worse conditions, said he tried to reach the man, but the ice was too risky. Rescuers used a sled and a rope system to bring down a woman in the party who said she was unable to move.

In the first group, four climbers were stranded and one was injured, the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office said in a tweet. They generally start their climb at Timberline Lodge and ascend for several hours before reaching the Hogsback.

Steve Rollins with Portland Mountain Rescue was one of the volunteers that helped bring the climbers down.

"It's going to get darker, it's going to get colder, it's going to get windier and the overall conditions will worsen at night", Jensen said.

Mount Hood, a peak notorious for loose ice and rocks in warm weather, is a popular climbing site that has seen dozens of accidents and fatalities over the years.

"This is the worst climbing day I've experienced for sure, condition wise", Peck said.

"At the time, there were two eyewitnesses to the fall; however, there was nobody with the fallen climber at the time", he said.