November 27, 2013 / Comments (354)

62-year-old climber survives an 800-foot fall on Mount Hood

Search and rescue teams moved quickly Tuesday to rescue a 62-year-old climber who fell 800 feet into a crater near the Hogsback on Mount Hood.

John Richard Andrews of Wilsonville was climbing Mount Hood with a friend when he fell into the crater. Fortunately, there was cellular coverage at the scene of the accident, so his climbing partner was able to call 9-1-1, and rescuers responded at full speed.

The clear, calm weather made for easier search-and-rescue conditions than usually exist in late November on Mount Hood. Clackamas County Sheriffs, Portland Mountain Rescue volunteers, the American Medical Response Reach and Treat Team and Mountain Wave Search and Rescue sped to the Timberline parking lot and quickly located Andrews on the mountain. They managed to hoist him out of the crater and airlift him to safety using an HH-60M Medical Evacuation Helicopter from the Oregon Army National Guard.

It was the first big rescue operation in months on Mount Hood after an intense summer that included three fatalities. A solid stretch of warm weather and clear skies have brought out quite a few climbers to enjoy unusually pleasant late fall conditions. A November 25 cascadeclimbers.com Illumination Rock trip report from powderhound Bryan Schmitz reported “firm conditions, little wind and amazing views” and shows a trio of climbers in sweatshirts and sunglasses with huge smiles on their faces.

Temperatures were in the 40s the day Andrews fell, with very light winds.

Rescuers hoisted Andrews to safety about four hours after his accident. He was transported to Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland for treatment. He suffered broken ribs but is reportedly in stable condition.

Here is a YouTube video report from Ken Boddie of KOIN 6 news:


Last modified: November 27, 2013

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