The Yakima County Sheriff’s Office requested Portland Mountain Rescue’s help around midnight for two climbers who were stranded near the false summit of Mt. Adams. The middle-aged couple had called 911 at 7 pm, reporting that they were out of food and water, had leg cramps, and were unable to descend.
The PMR team started climbing at 6:30. At the time the PMR team was nearing the 8,000 foot level, another search team located the subjects on the false summit around 11,500 feet. They were well dressed with plastic boots, down jackets, and shells, but carried no ice axes, crampons, or hiking poles, and little food or water in their lumbar packs. Upon reaching the summit around 5pm, they found the conditions becoming too icy for descending and were also hampered by dehydration, hunger, and leg cramps. The subjects were uninjured, and after being fed and watered, would be able walk. The PMR team ascended to 9,900 feet to meet the descending subjects. The other search team lowered the climbers with ropes down the steepest sections at the top, after which they were able to walk without assistance. Crampons & ice axes are two necessary pieces of equipment needed for climbing all glaciated cascade volcanoes. Being prepared with the proper equipment and supplies saves lives in the mountains.