A woman was rescued near the summit of Mount Hood on Saturday morning after she slipped and fell several hundred feet down the mountain, according to the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office.
Volunteers with Portland Mountain Rescue saw the 36-year-old Portland woman fall. They called 911 and provided first aid while crews prepared to get her off of the mountain.
Matt Zavortink with Portland Mountain Rescue said conditions on Mount Hood are dangerous this time of year.
“In the winter, there are really large storms that deposit a lot of snow on the upper mountain, and that can make conditions dangerous in terms of avalanches and things like that,” he said.
On top of that, sunlight will warm the snow intermittently, causing it to melt and refreeze.
“So it just becomes extremely slippery,” Zavortink said. “Most years, there will be a week or two period like this, where lots of people are going to the mountain because they see that it hasn’t snowed in a while and it’s sunny. And then the conditions are really unforgiving and, and slick.”
He said the extreme conditions made it harder for crews to get the injured woman down off the upper mountain. Because it’s still early in the season, Timberline Lodge snowcats are not traveling up that high yet.
“This rescue took a couple of hours longer than is typical in my experience,” Zavortink said, “because everyone just had to carry all of the stuff up an extra couple of thousand feet.”
From there, they had to use several different rope systems to move the woman into a safer place.
“Thankfully our partner organization, the Hood River Crag Rats arrived, and they’re really good skiers,” he said. “They were able to ski the subject all the way down to Timberline.”
Getting the woman down to the lodge took about nine hours. From there, she was taken to a hospital. Officials have not yet provided updates on her injuries or her condition.