American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Rock, Exceeding Abilities, Inadequate Equipment, Oregon, Mount Hood

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 1993

FALL ON ROCK, EXCEEDING ABILITIES, INADEQUATE EQUIPMENT

Oregon, Mount Hood

On October 25, 1992, Terry Beggs (20) and Don Ming (20) started out to “hike” to the summit of Mount Hood. Their clothing consisted of jeans, T-shirts, and work boots. They carried no equipment other than a camera. Just before sunset, the pair reached the base of the Hogsback above Crater Rock and decided to turn back. During the descent, Beggs lost his footing, slipped, and sprained his ankle. They both decided to spend the rest of the night on a rock ledge, sharing one long sleeved shirt between them. Meanwhile, a concerned parent notified the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office of the overdue “hikers.” Early on October 26 a multi-agency search was started on the hiking trails near timberline. At 1030 a Portland Mountain Rescue team met the pair descending just west of White River glacier at 7800 feet elevation. The ambulatory subjects were escorted down to Silcox Hut and jeep transported to Timberline Lodge. No medical treatment was required.

Analysis

The two inexperienced, unequipped “day hikers” ignored the posted equipment recommendations and showed a lack of judgment in their attempt to go high on the mountain. Even for an experienced and well equipped party, late season conditions on this volcano make the climb hazardous due to excessive rockfall. (There were five registered parties climbing the South Side route.) The subjects were fortunate that the weather remained fair and unseasonably warm. (Source: Jeff Scheetz)

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