PMR Assists Climber on Mt. Hood

Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office contacted PMR around 4:45. p.m. on July 9, 2011 requesting assistance to evacuate a climber from near the summit of Mt. Hood. The climber was reported to be an exhausted or otherwise incapacitated senior male and not making any downward progress. Conditions on the mountain were clear and warm with low wind.

A team of three PMR rescuers and two AMR Reach and Treat medics proceeded up the mountain around 7:00 p.m. They were joined by a unit from the Air Force 304th Rescue Squadron who were climbing to Triangle Moraine to camp for the night for training. They encountered the climber shortly before 9:00 p.m. just below the Hogsback. He was moving slowly on his own. The team learned that he was 72 years old with some prior climbing experience. He was alone and climbing Mt. Hood for the first time. He had not requested the rescue and was not expecting it.

PMR escorted the climber around crater rock and down to Triangle Moraine. Near the top of Triangle Moraine, a second PMR team loaded the climber into a litter for a faster descent. He rode in the litter to a waiting snow cat at the top of the Palmer lift. He was reunited with his wife and friends at Timberline Lodge around 11:30 p.m.

PMR encourages climbers to never climb alone, to know their route and to be realistic about the time and effort it will take to complete it.