American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Fall on Snow, Climbing Unroped, Oregon, Mount Hood, Southside

  • Accident Reports
  • Accident Year:
  • Publication Year: 2010

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.

Analysis

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)

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