Triangle Moraine Rescue Mission
January 7, 2015
Two climbers, a father and son, had climbed the south side of Mt. Hood and were descending near the base of Crater Rock. The surface was icy. Father’s crampons were loose or broken and he lost purchase on the ice. He slipped and slid fast toward Triangle Moraine for about 200 feet. Another climber who witnessed the fall was the first to reach father. He was banged up from hits on the rough ice surface and appeared to have a head injury. The climber and son determined that a rescue was necessary and called 911. They moved father to a location just below Triangle Moraine at about 9500’ elevation.
Around 9:20 a.m., the Clackamas County Sheriff’s office contacted PMR and requested an evacuation. A team of two AMR Reach and Treat medics were first to the scene and worked to stabilize the patient. The first team of four PMR rescuers was in the field by around noon and a snow cat had them to the top of the Palmer around 12:35 p.m.; they reached the patient around 1:05 p.m. They assisted in stabilizing the patient and readied the patient for transport. A second PMR team of four rescuers carrying more gear followed and assisted with transporting the patient.
Weather conditions were favorable, and the evacuation was straight forward. PMR teams turned the patient over to Timberline Ski Patrol at the top of the Palmer lift who skied the litter down to the Timberline parking lot. All rescuers were out of the field at 3:30 p.m.
PMR reminds climbers that Mt. Hood requires technical gear and climbing skill for a safe climb under most conditions. Crampons and boots designed for technical mountaineering are necessary. And make sure your crampons properly fit your boots and are securely attached.