Mount Hood Climber Falls 1,000 Feet, Witnesses Say; Fate Unknown

Image: Mount Hood Climber Falls 1,000 Feet, Witnesses Say; Fate Unknown

Wednesday, 14 May 2014 07:12 AM

By Newsmax Wires

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A Mount Hood climber who reportedly fell about 1,000 feet Tuesday was located by rescue crews some time later, according to witnesses who were scaling Oregon's tallest peak at the time.

The climber appeared to be alone when the fall happened around 8 a.m. Tuesday, the Hood River County Sheriff's Office told The Associated Press. Other climbers lost sight of the person — who appeared to be a man — after the fall near Eliot Glacier at the volcanic peak 50 miles east of Portland.

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A fixed-wing search plane may have located the climber, but it wasn't clear if the person survived the fall, sheriff's office spokesman Pete Hughes said.

Hughes says the aircraft could not find a stable position, so a National Guard helicopter was sent to photograph the person's location.

Thousands of people climb the 11,240-foot peak each year. Spring is the prime season because the weather is better but not so warm that the ice melts and rocks fall more readily. The peak is notorious for loose rock in warm weather. On Tuesday, temperatures at the mountain's summit reached 47 degrees and 56 degrees at its base.

The most recent death was in August. A Polish military officer visiting the United States for training with a drone manufacturer went to the summit on a day off. The novice climber fell about 1,000 feet.

The most fatalities in one accident were seven students from Oregon Episcopal School and two adults who died after they dug a snow cave during a sudden storm in May 1986.

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