Oregon Mount Hood climber falls 600 feet after losing ice axe, airlifted to hospital

Climber fell near Old Chute area of Mount Hood, landed on rocks above Hot Rocks fumarole

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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.

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Rescuers reached the injured climber about four hours after witnesses say he fell 600 to 700 feet from the summit ridge, authorities said.

Rescuers reached the injured climber about four hours after witnesses say he fell 600 to 700 feet from the summit ridge, authorities said. (Clackamas County Sheriff's Office )

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.

An Oregon Army National Guard helicopter airlifted the 43-year-old climber to a Portland-area hospital. His current condition was not immediately known.

An Oregon Army National Guard helicopter airlifted the 43-year-old climber to a Portland-area hospital. His current condition was not immediately known. (Clackamas County Sheriff's Office )

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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.