AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

Oregon, Mt. Hood

Oregon, Mt. Hood—On September 16, Ben Cook and Bill Leitzel were climbing the south side of Mt. Hood at approximately the 10,000 foot elevation, just east of Crater Rock on the lower ridge.

The rocks on which Cook was walking started to roll. He fell with the rocks and landed about 75 feet below with rocks over him. Cook’s companion went to his aid and removed the rocks from him and managed to drag and carry him to a nearby pile of lumber out of the slide area and made him comfortable. Leitzel built a fire and then went for help down the mountain to Lone Fir Look Out.

Rescue was effected by Forest Service and MoReSCO and completed by mid-morning on September 17.

Source: John W. Arens.

Analysis: The climbers were not experienced enough to be out without other climbers. It is always safer to travel in groups of 3 or 5. If Cook had been injured more, it would have been necessary for someone to stay with him and for a third man to go for help. The climbers were poorly shod for any kind of snow or loose rock climbing.