Oregon Deputies Help Rescue Injured Mountain Climber

Police Mag
November 28, 2023

On Saturday Nov. 25, deputies from the Clackamas County (Oregon)  Sheriff’s Office helped rescue a mountain climber who had fallen on Mt. Hood.

The 36-year old woman from Portland was descending the popular  South Side route on Mt. Hood when she slipped, fell several hundred feet, and was  injured, the sheriff’s office reports.

Portland Mountain Rescue  (PMR) personnel were first to respond. The sheriff’s office says  they were on the mountain as a “ready team” and saw the climber fall. “They  were then able to reach the patient, stabilize her, and provide initial medical  care,” officials say. PMR called 911, summoning Clackamas County deputies.

Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office Search & Rescue coordinators  set up a command center at Timberline Lodge. Additional PMR and Hood River Crag  Rats rescuers assembled at Timberline Lodge and deployed with  additional equipment.

It took seven hours to transport the injured climber off of the more than 11,000-foot-high mountain.

“Using complex  rope systems, rescuers transported the patient in a litter to the Hogsback snow  ridge, where she was transferred to a different litter and taken down the  mountain to the Timberline parking lot. After arriving at Timberline at  approximately 9:30 p.m., she was then transported to an area hospital,” the  sheriff’s office says.

The rescue  involved personnel from the Clackamas County SO, Hood River  County Sheriff’s Office, Portland Mountain Rescue, the Hood River  Crag Rats, American Medical Response's Reach and Treat Team, Mountain Wave  Emergency Communications, and the Oregon Office of  Emergency Management.

Portland  Mountain Rescue offered the following post-mission analysis:


“Mountain rescue is a  technical endeavor that requires numerous skilled rescuers, experienced  sheriff’s deputies, coordinated leadership, and dedication to our  mountaineering community. Mt. Hood is not a beginner mountain — especially in  winter conditions. The short days and lower temperatures mean that the snow  tends to be very hard and icy, and the route conditions tend to be much steeper  and technical. Also descending the mountain in icy conditions is much more  difficult than ascending. Only those with expert mountaineering and ice  climbing skills should attempt Mt. Hood in winter, especially when there have  been long dry spells with no precipitation. Appropriate and thorough training  is critical.”