Climber dies, another critically hurt after falling 200 feet on Mount Hood
One climber died and another was critically injured after falling about 200 feet on Oregon’s Mount Hood during “extremely challenging” conditions, officials said late Monday.
The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office said that shortly after 5 p.m. on Sunday, the two climbers fell near the top of the Leuthold Couloir, a steep chute on the west side of Oregon’s highest mountain. One of the injured climbers was able to call 911 by cell phone and also used a Garmin inReach device to notify an emergency contact.
Rescue crews faced “treacherous conditions” while working to reach the two people, officials said. Crews encountered deep snow and avalanche conditions, with winds blowing between 50 and 70 mph.
Bad weather and poor visibility forced rescuers to abandon their first attempt to reach the climbers late Sunday night. Despite “extremely difficult and dangerous” conditions, crews were finally able to reach the climbers on Monday. One was pronounced dead at the scene and the other was in critical condition.
“Due to the severe avalanche hazard and poor conditions, rescuers made the tough decision to leave the deceased on the mountain, with plans to mount a recovery mission when conditions improve,” the sheriff’s office said.
The injured climber was evacuated and ultimately transported to an area hospital for treatment.
The sheriff’s office did not identify either of the climbers, but said their names would be forthcoming.
Officials said a total of 32 people were involved in the rescue effort.
In 2018, a climber died after falling more than 700 feet on Mount Hood.