Oregon Climber Survives 600-Foot Fall Down Mount Hood

by Jon D. B.

After witnessing the fall, bystanders were able to provide aid, food, and water while contacting emergency responders from Mount Hood.

If you believe in miracles, count this among them. At around 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 24, Oregon’s Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office received an SOS beacon and phone call from climbers in the Devil’s Kitchen area of Mt. Hood. According to initial reports, a male subject fell nearly 600-feet down Mt. Hood into the area. Somehow, the climber survived with only injuries and was found by Devil’s Kitchen bystanders.

Thankfully, his rescuers were able to provide aid, sustenance, and contact emergency responders on his behalf. The climber’s identity remains private.

Mount Hood is the highest peak in Oregon at 11,239 feet (3,425 meters) and one of the most climbed mountains in the world.

As for how such a fall happened, Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office provides more details on their Facebook.

“According to witnesses, the subject had summited the mountain and was descending the peak in the Pearly Gates/Hogsback area when he suffered an issue with one of his boots,” the office begins. “While trying to fix the issue, he lost his hold on an ice axe and fell down the side of the mountain.”

During his near-600-foot fall, “the falling climber was unable to self-arrest,” officials continue. He “finally stopped in a snowfield in the Devil’s Kitchen, at approximately 9,400 feet elevation.”

From there, SAR Coordinators from the Clackamas County and Hood River County Sheriff’s Offices would respond. Setting up a command post at Timberline Lodge, AMR’s Reach and Treat Team, Portland Mountain Rescue and the Hood River Crag Rats would also assist.

Mt. Hood Climber’s Rescue Required Hours of Trekking Up Oregon’s Highest Mountain

To reach the injured climber, rescue teams had to trek their way up Mount Hood. They would finally reach him at around 1 p.m. local time. Rescuers then tended to his medical needs, stabilizing him for transport to Timberline Lodge.

By 4 p.m., AMR was transporting the subject from Timberline to an area hospital for treatment of minor injuries after his 600-foot fall; a miracle, indeed.

“Thank you to all our SAR partners who contributed to this successful mission,” Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office concludes their statement after a successful rescue.

The Mount Hood climber’s fall comes in leu of multiple U.S. mountain fatalities over the past month, making his survival all the more miraculous:

Another Mt. Hood climber also died in March after a 200-foot fall near the top of the Leuthold Couloir. Two men fell down the mountain’s west side, with only one surviving.

For more information on this previous fatality, see One Climber Rescued, One Killed After Fall on Oregon’s Mount Hood next.

Stay safe out there, Outsiders.