Crews rescue fallen climber on Mount Hood

Crews responding to fallen climber on Mount Hood (KATU)

Search and rescues worked tirelessly to rescue a man who climbed Mt. Hood Saturday morning and fell more than 100 feet, suffering substantial injuries, according to the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office.

The climber fell near the Hogsback area Saturday morning — a place climbers usually fall, according to rescuers. Climbers who were on the mountain at the time say the climber fell from the Pearly Gates while trying to ski down.

"About 15 minutes after we went through the pearly gates, which is a very steep area, we were walking next to someone who was looking up at the pearly gates and saw someone slide down about 200 feet," said Tim Papenfuss, a climber.

Four Portland Mountain Rescue members were on the mountain at the time and were the first ones to reach the fallen climber. Deputy Scott Meyers, the Search and Rescue Coordinator, says the man was knocked unconscious during the fall, but later came to. Meyers said the man has several broken bones, and an injured back.

"There are some dangerous areas up there. It's not a real technical climb, but there are some areas that are a little more technical. You just have to be real careful and not take chances," said Papenfuss.

Meyers says 11 more search and rescue volunteers from Portland Mountain Rescue and Hood River Crag Rats were sent up the mountain to help. Initially, they moved the fallen climber to a new location so a helicopter could come hoist him off the mountain. Deputies say it was too windy for the helicopter to pick him up. They tried multiple times as the afternoon went on.

Around 7:45 PM, rescue crew was able to get the man to Timberline Lodge where he was transported by helicopter to a hospital.

"Multiple times a year we have people fall. This is our climbing season, where it's nice and cold up there," said Meyers. "Sometimes we can have 100-150 people up there a day."

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