An Oregon climber was airlifted from Mount Hood on Saturday after he lost his ice axe and fell 600 feet to the rocks below the summit, authorities said.
The 43-year-old man from Happy Valley, a suburb of Portland, sustained serious injuries when he fell around 6:30 a.m. from the summit ridge near the Old Chute area and landed just above the Hot Rocks fumarole, the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office said. Witnesses said the man fell 600 to 700 feet.
The sheriff’s office launched a search-and-rescue mission with the aid of volunteer services and reached the injured climber just before 10:30 a.m.
Rescue crews took over medical care from a combat comptroller who had been at the scene when the accident occurred, according to officials. The climber was treated at the scene until an Oregon Army National Guard helicopter arrived and hoisted the injured man to a Portland-area hospital.
The climber was receiving medical care at the hospital. His current condition was not immediately known.
Officials warned potential climbers that Mount Hood is dangerous throughout the year due to steep and icy conditions on the mountain.
It was the second accident to occur within a week on that same area of the mountain, according to authorities.
On June 24, a 31-year-old Portland woman was also airlifted off the mountain after she fell several hundred feet from the summit ridge down the Old Chute and sustained critical injuries. No update on her condition was immediately available.