PMR Evacuates Injured Climber in Fall from Mazama Chute
May 17, 2009
Early morning Saturday, May 17th 2009, a 54 year-old male fell while traversing
high on the headwall of Mount Hood's Coalman Glacier, just below the cliffs
between the Hogsback and the Old Chute. The man came to rest in the depression
just west of the Hogsback -a fall of approximately 400 feet. His climbing
companions reported that he stepped on weak snow that gave way causing his
fall. A nearby Portland Mountain Rescue volunteer witnessed the accident and
placed a call to 911.
The injured climber was unconscious for 15 to 20 minutes after his fall.
Initial efforts by the climbers on scene were focused on C-Spine stabilization,
moving the subject out of danger from falling ice, and making him as
comfortable as possible.
Clackamas County Sheriffs Office activated Portland Mountain Rescue and all
rescuers met at Timberline Lodge. With assistance from Timberline Lodge snow
cats, PMR rescuers and AMR RAT teams were able to quickly reach the injured
man, package him in a litter and lower him down to the base of Crater Rock.
There the patient was loaded into a snow cat and taken down to Timberline Lodge
where he was transferred to a National Guard Blackhawk and airlifted to OHSU.
Upon arrival at OHSU, the man was diagnosed with fractures of C1 and C2
vertebrae, either of which could have had fatal consequences, as well as
serious facial injuries. The initial responders did an excellent job of caring
for and protecting this man from further injuries.