A man was climbing Oregon’s highest peak when he lost his ice axe, deputies said. He went tumbling up to 700 feet.
The climber was on Mount Hood at about 6:30 a.m. Saturday, July 2, the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office said. He fell several hundred feet and was seriously injured, deputies said.
“Witnesses reported the climber lost his ice axe and fell approximately 600-700 feet from the summit ridge to the rocks above the Hot Rocks fumarole,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release.
Search and rescue officials rushed to help the climber. Before rescuers arrived, a combat comptroller started giving the climber medical care.
About four hours after the fall, rescuers reached the climber and took over his care. They called a helicopter from the Oregon Army National Guard to help the climber.
At about 1 p.m., the helicopter and two medics arrived on scene.
“A litter was also lowered,” deputies said. “The medics packaged the patient in the litter and the litter was hoisted into the helicopter.”
The climber was flown to a hospital in the Portland area. Deputies did not disclose the man’s identity or current condition.
“Climbing on Mt. Hood is dangerous during all times of year due to the steep and icy conditions of the mountain and this is the second accident in about a week in the same area of Mt. Hood,” deputies said.
On Friday, June 24, a 31-year-old from Portland, Oregon, was climbing Mount Hood and fell hundreds of feet, McClatchy News reported. A doctor who was also climbing nearby rushed to help the woman, deputies said.
The woman was flown to a Portland hospital with injuries.
Mount Hood is Oregon’s highest peak. The volcano has had two major eruptions in the past 1,500 years, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
The most recent eruption was in 1865. Mount Hood is about 70 miles east of Portland.