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I have climbed Hood many times. What makes Hood such a noteable flashpoint in the news when accidents happen is its accessibility from Timberline Lodge and volume of climbers of all levels that attempt the summit. Hood is an easy climb until you get to the 9500 foot level then it becomes like any other technical climb. Add to the complexity weather conditions we have in the northwest. Mountain climbing is like any other risk sport; kayaking, whitewater rafting, surfing, hang gliding, etc. - there is risk involved. Climbers take a calculated risk climbing in any season. Climbing in winter can be safer because rocks that commonly fall on climbers during the summer season are encased in frozen ice. On the other hand climbing in winter adds risk due to the storms that move in and as we have seen the past few rescue attempts can hold rescue teams off the mountain for days - which in the end is probably the biggest risk of winter climbing. I have climbed between storms and was lucky that I was never injured so that I could not descend before I was pinned down by an incoming storm. Besides your equipment, planning and skill, you need a little luck from time to time and it looks like this trio simply experienced something that overwhelmed them. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of these three fine individuals.
posted 3 years, 5 months ago
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