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Two climbers (one injured) rescued on Mt. Hood
Friday, Sep 07, 2007

Two climbers from the Portland area were attempting to climb Mount Hood via the standard south-side route. Around 2 PM while ascending through technical terrain at 11,000 feet, one of the climbers lost footing below the Pearly Gates and slid down the steep ice/rock slope terminating their fall on the lower edge of the Bergshrund, the location of some notable fatal incidents in recent years. At this time of year this part of the route is characterized by very loose rock, and frozen gravel. The climber suffered sufficient injuries to make him think he could not climb down without assistance. His partner, observing the fall, decided it was unsafe to move, and held his position above the Bergshrund. They were able to call for help using a cell phone, and at 2:30 PM Clackamas County Sheriff notified PMR requesting the rescue.

PMR was able to get an initial team of three along with one member of American Medical Response’s (AMR) Reach and Treat (RAT) on the mountain around 4PM with Timberline Lodge providing transport to the top of the Palmer ski lift at 8540 feet via snow-cat, with additional members assembling and standing by for evacuation support. The initial team then climbed the additional 2500 feet to reach the subjects, assess the situation and treat the injured climber. They reached the Bergshrund around Dusk and determined there were no major injuries, and with support the climber decided he would attempt to walk out.

PMR members were able to belay him to safer terrain where with assistance of additional PMR rescuers and AMR members he was escorted to a snow-cat at the top of Palmer around 6 AM. I

n the mean time, one of the initial PMR members was able to ascend to the second subject, where he determined additional technical equipment would be necessary to traverse the difficult terrain below. Those resources arrived with the second PMR team around midnight, and the team was able to lower the subject and retreat below the Bergshrund around 5 AM. From there they were able to walk out, arriving at Timberline Lodge shortly after the first subject.

 

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