Overdue Climbers found by PMR
Jan 14, 2008
Late evening on Monday January 14th, Portland Mountain Rescue received a call
out to assist in searching for two overdue climbers on Mt Hood. The two men
were attempting to climb Leuthold Couloir and were due back around 3:00 pm.
When the girlfriend of one of the climbers hadn't heard from them she called
Clackamas County Sheriffs Office requesting help. PMR convened at Timberline
Lodge at 5:00 Tuesday morning. Two teams of PMR rescuers headed out sometime
around 7:00 am in a Timberline snow cat, which took rescuers to the top of the
Palmer snowfield. Due to poor weather conditions, the rescuers were forced to
turn around and return to the lodge. Around 9:00 am cell phone contact was
established with one of the climbers and they were able give coordinates of
their location, near Government Camp. A third PMR team along with a team from
304th PJ's hiked up from Glacier Point Sno-park, reaching the climbers shortly
after 11:00 am, and escorted the two men out.
According to the two men, they began their climb early Monday morning, but
weather moved in and forced them to turn around. During their decent, the
climbers were unable to navigate back to Timberline Lodge due to poor
visibility. Eventually, the men dug a snow cave and waited the storm to
subside. Early Tuesday morning the two men continued to make their way off the
mountain heading towards Government Camp.
PMR would like to stress the importance of checking the weather forecast and
avalanche conditions before heading up the mountain. Weather can change quickly
on the mountain, and being caught off guard by a winter storm can have serious