PMR Assists Injured Climber on Mt. Hood

A large chunk of ice fell from the upper crater wall around 7:00 a.m. The ice or other debris struck several climbers from at least two parties. As ice and snow slid down the upper crater, it carried several climbers with it. Although a few climbers had minor injuries, one woman had potentially serious injuries. She slid down crater about 300 feet and came to rest in the bottom of the crater. Other members of her party, including members of the Crag Rats attended to her. Fearing further injury from ice fall, they moved her from the west side to the east side of the Hogsback. An AMR Reach and Treat team was climbing the mountain as a training exercise. They were on the scene quickly and stabilized the patient.

The Clackamas County Sheriff Office requested PMR assistance to evacuate the patient. Three PMR teams carried rescue gear up the mountain. With the assistance of AMR and Crag Rats, PMR packaged the patient in a litter and lowered her with ropes about 1000 feet over steep terrain. Then, rescuers slid the litter down to the top of the Palmer lift. From there, she was evacuated by snow cat and then ski patrol toboggan (because the snow cat broke down) to an ambulance waiting at Timberline Lodge. All rescuers were out of the field by 5:00 p.m.

Ice and rock fall is a serious hazard on the upper mountain. PMR encourages climbers to time their climbs so that they are off the upper mountain before the early morning sun hits the crater walls and warms the ice. PMR also encourages climbers to wear a helmet and select a route in the upper crater that minimizes the time they are directly below the ice-encrusted upper walls.