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Address:
Portland Mtn Rescue
P.O. Box 5391
Portland, Oregon
97228-5391

 
Phone:
503-222-PMRU (7678)
 
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PMR Rescues Climber from Crevasse on Mount Hood
Tuesday, May 18, 2004
 
At approximately 3:15 PM (Pacific Time) on Tuesday, PMR rescuers extracted an injured climber from a crevasse on Oregon's Mount Hood.  The subject had fallen into the thin and deep crack early in the morning during a climb of the 11,239-foot Cascade Range peak.
 
The subject, a 60-year-old man from California, and his companion were slowly ascending the South Side of the mountain, near White River Glacier, when the snow gave way below and he dropped into the 60-foot crevasse.  The accident occurred around the 9,375-foot mark in an area that does not usually have crevasses at this time of year.  However, low spring snows seem to have changed the timeline for crevasse formation in 2004.
 
The subject's climbing partner quickly called 9-1-1 for help and summoned several others in the area.  The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office mobilized Portland Mountain Rescue and paramedics from the American Medical Response Reach and Treat (RAT) Team.  As rescuers began making their way to the scene, one of the good samaritan climbers lowered himself into the crevasse to attend to the injured man as best as possible until others arrived.
 
Two AMR paramedics were the first professional rescuers to reach the scene.  One descended into the crevasse to begin treating the injured climber.
 
Shortly thereafter, eight PMR team members arrived carrying a rescue litter and ropes that would eventually be used to extract the injured man from the icy crevasse.  Several more PMR members arrived within the following hour.
 
While setting up the hauling systems, the weather deteriorated from sunshine to low visibility, wind and snow.  This would make a direct helicopter evacuation impossible, so the subject would need to be brought to safety via the ground.
 
Two PMR rescuers entered the crevasse with the litter and prepared the patient for a trip back to the surface.  As rescuers and bystanders hauled on the rope systems, the litter emerged from the crevasse with the patient safely packaged inside.
 
The litter was then lowered down 1,000 vertical feet on the snow to a waiting sno-cat at the top of the Timberline Ski Area.  After being loaded into the vehicle, the injured climber was transported to an ambulance at Timberline Lodge and eventually to a Oregon 1042nd National Guard Blackhawk helicopter at a nearby parking lot that had reasonable visibility.  The man was airlifted to a Portland area hospital for treatment of his injuries.
 
Reference Map
 

Rigging the rescue litter
 

Rappelling into the crevasse
 

Hauling the rescue ropes
 

The patient and litter
emerge from the crevasse
 

Lowering the patient
down the mountain
 

Patient inside the sno-cat 
 
Fourteen Portland Mountain Rescue volunteers left their jobs early on Tuesday to attend this mission.  PMR does not charge for services rendered and is funded completely thru individual and corporate donations.
 
The UTM coordinates of the rescue are 10-06-01-886E by 50-24-025N and the corresponding Latitude/Longitude coordinates are 4521'51"N by 12141'56"W.
 

 

2001- Portland Mountain Rescue
P.O. Box 5391
Portland, Oregon  97228-5391
 
Phone: 503.222.PMRU (7678)
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