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Fall on Ice, Climbing Alone and Unroped, Oregon, Mount Hood, Southside

FALL ON ICE, CLIMBING ALONE AND UNROPED

Oregon, Mount Hood, Southside

On January 27, an experienced Mazama Club climbing leader (65) was climbing solo on the popular Southside route when he slipped at 9,000-foot elevation, sliding about 50 feet before arresting. He suffered a leg fracture during the fall. By yelling and waving, he was able to attract the attention of nearby climbers (including an MD) who provided assistance and notified authorities via cellphone. He was ground-evacuated by a Portland Mountain Rescue (PMR) ready team and AMR Reach and Treat (RAT) team to a snowcap at the 8,500-foot elevation.

Analysis

Solo climbing creates additional risks in the event of a fall or medical emergency. This subject is lucky that nearby Good Samaritans were available to provide assistance. If he had been knocked unconscious during the fall, the outcome might not have been so favorable. (Source: Jeff Sheetz, Portland Mountain Rescue)