Saturday, November 18, 2006
On Saturday morning, a 17 year-old male subject was located a few hundred feet below the summit of Mt. Hood just above a feature known as the Hogsback.
The subject of the search was a novice climber attempting a solo ascent of the South Side route of Mt. Hood. He was attempting to realize a goal of climbing the mountain prior to his 18th birthday. The youth undertook the climb without parental knowledge or permission. When the father learned of his son’s plan, he contacted the Clackamas County Sheriffs Office. Given the subjects lack of experience and less than ideal climbing conditions it was determined that he should be located and returned to Timberline.
A team of six from Portland Mountain Rescue was transported to the top of the Palmer lift by a Timberline snow-cat and proceeded from there on foot. The subject of the search was reached just as he was proceeding out onto a steep, exposed, and quite icy slope. Once apprised that he was the focus of a search, the youth willingly turned around. He was in good shape and was escorted down the mountain without incident.
Also participating in the mission was a communications team from Mountain Wave, employees of the Timberline Ski area, and a team from American Medical Response that remained on standby at the lodge.
Despite the outcome, solo climbing, particularly as a novice, is not recommended. PMR encourages would-be climbers to seek out quality instruction and to climb with competent partners.