FALL ON SNOW, CLIMBING UNROPED
Oregon, Mount Hood, Southside
On May 17, John Creager (54) was descending a Southside variation on Mount Hood with his two partners. He lost his footing and fell about 400 feet, sustaining serious injuries, including losing consciousness for about 20 minutes. A nearby member of Portland Mountain Rescue witnessed the accident and reported it by cellphone. Assisting climbers were able to relocate the subject to a safer location and provide first aid. A rescue team lowered Creager to an awaiting snowcat, which provided transport to a waiting helicopter in the parking lot.
Soft snow conditions can cause loss of footing and also make self-arrest difficult. Roped travel is suggested in such conditions, as it provides the security of a belay or team arrest. (Source: Jeff Sheetz, Portland Mountain Rescue)