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Accident on Hood


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Heard this morning that a 60-year old man fell into a crevasse below crater rock? I didn't know there were any that large around there. Initial reports are that the group has not had contact with him since hew fell in and that Clackamas County rescuers and the National Guard would be assisting in the rescue. Hope he is well.

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Seven or eight years ago, I fell into a moat unroped right below that rock. Both my feet punched through and as I was extracting myself I looked down in the hole. It was deep and some ways down I could see a ski lodged between the rock and the snow that somebody had lost...



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Ah! So it could have been a 'schrund lower down the mountain. Makes all the sense in the world. Pretty wierd to have that melting out this early in the year. Shitty accumulation over this last winter, eh?


Hope that they get him out of there quickly.

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Climber is alive and well but still trapped 30 ft. down in the "crevasse":


Rescue underway climber who fell into crevasse on Mt. Hood


01:25 PM PDT on Tuesday, May 18, 2004



By TERESA BELL, kgw.com Staff




GOVERNMENT CAMP, Ore. -- A climber is alive and awaiting help after falling 30 feet into a crevasse below Crater Rock, near the 9,600-foot-level on Mt. Hood early Tuesday, authorities said.



Rescuers identified the climber as Jeffrey Godfrey of Ventura, California.





An aerial view of Crater Rock on Mt. Hood. (File Photo)

"The medical team has reached the victim and apparently he has some facial abrasions and some groin injuries," said Sgt. Nick Watt, a spokesperson for the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office. "They are attempting to pull him out of the crevasse and get him down the mountain."



Godfrey told other climbers above him that he was not seriously hurt but was stranded about 30 feet inside the crevasse. Rescuers working to create a pulley system to lift him out feared that the 60-year-old man could develop hypothermia soon.



Temperatures are hovering at about 35 degrees and even though Godfrey said he thinks he’s okay, rescuers were considering airlifting him off the mountain as a precaution. However, as of 1 p.m., officials said the helicopter would not be able to make the flight, due to poor visibility.





Rescuers -- appearing as tiny dots in the snow -- work their way to the crevasse. (KGW Photo)

Godfrey has been inside the crevasse since about 7 a.m., when he broke through ice and fell, his climbing partner told dispatchers in the initial call for help early Tuesday.



Rescuers hope to get him out of the gaping hole between 1 and 2 p.m.



It's unknown how secure Godfrey's perch is inside the crevasse. Climbers often tie themselves to one another with ropes for added safety in slick conditions, but Godfrey was not tied to his partner when he fell, Watt said.



Rescue effort based at Timberline Lodge


Search and rescue teams set up a base of operations at Timberline Lodge and also put a helicopter crew with the Oregon Army National Guard Military Air Rescue Team, out of Salem, on standby for help if needed.



At about 9:30 a.m., rescuers began ascending the mountain after “scrambling to respond,” Watt said. They boarded a SnowCat to speed up the first stretch of the climb. The SnowCat took the team to the highest point it could reach, before dropping the climbers off to finish their trek on foot.




A SnowCat driver shuttled rescuers up the mountain. (KGW Photo)


From there, the specially trained climbers carefully began making their way to the crevasse area, according to Angie Brandenburg, a spokesperson with the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office.



They reached the crevasse before noon.



Meantime, the Blackhawk crew was on its way to Mt. Hood as of 12:30 p.m., but turned back a short time later, due to poor visibility. Rescuers plan to evaluate Godfrey's condition once they pull him out of the crevasse and decide the safest way to get him off the mountain.



They could choose to walk with Godfrey, carry him on a stretcher, or even set up camp and wait out the storm before heading down.



Dangerous time of year on Mt. Hood


This is the same time of the year when three climbers fell to their death two years ago and dozens of others were injured in what turned out to be one of the deadliest climbing mishaps ever on Mt. Hood.





This map shows Crater Rock, in relation to the 2002 accident scene. (kgw.com graphic)

A total of nine climbers were swept into a 50-foot wide and 20-foot deep crevasse, known as the Bergschrund, early in the morning on May 30th, 2002. The others were injured while sliding on the sheer ice, tied to other climbers.



Rescue efforts on that day also took a dramatic turn when a Blackhawk crew trying to reach the survivors crashed nearby. All six members of the helicopter crew survived, but one person was critically injured.



Weather conditions impact rescuers & climbers


Crevasses on the mountain often crack open this time of year, experts say, as the warmer weather slowly begins to melt thick ice formed on the sheer mountainside.


Also Online


More details about deadly 2002 accident on Mt. Hood


The military helicopter team is specially trained in high elevation rescues and has safely airlifted several injured climbers off Mt. Hood in the past. But Tuesday morning, visibility was extremely poor on the mountain, so the Blackhawk may not be able to safely fly at the elevation where Godfrey fell.



“There’s kind of cloudy conditions up there right now but certainly we can use air assets up there... if we can first get this guy out of the crevasse," Brandenburg said.




Sky-8 captured the crash of the Blackhawk on Mt. Hood on live television. (KGW File Photo)

KGW meteorologist Dave Salesky said conditions were foggy and cloudy Tuesday morning, but skies could clear in the afternoon.



However, if there is a break in the weather, he said the window won’t last long.



If rescuers can't pull Godfrey out of the crevasse by early Tuesday afternoon, the rescue effort will probably become much more difficult, as weather conditions grow dramatically worse.



Salesky said the forecast calls for mostly cloudy skies with thunder showers late Tuesday and up to four inches of new snow expected in the next 24 hours.



Godfrey was reportedly following a popular climbing route through the White River Canyon when he slipped and fell.



Mount Rainier rescue


Monday night, another military helicopter crew airlifted an injured climber off the north slope of Mount Rainier. But sadly, he died at the hospital a short time later.





An injured Mt. Rainier climber is lifted into an Oregon National Guard helicopter. (KING Photo)

Peter Cooley, 39, of Cape Elizabeth, Maine, was rescued from the 12,300 foot level of the 14,410-foot mountain. He suffered a head injury while climbing on Saturday, but had to wait two days for the rescue due to his precarious position on the mountain and rough weather conditions.



Cooley had been reported in stable condition late Monday afternoon after the rescue effort, but his condition quickly deteriorated and he died Monday night, Mount Rainier National Park spokeswoman Patti Wold said.



Cooley's climbing partner, Scott Richards, 42, and rescuers got off the mountain safely Tuesday.

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Yeah, there is a big crevasse at about 9,500 ft. It's about halfway between the current boot track that leads up the south side route and the edge of the ridge that drops into the white river glacier. I was up there this weekend checking out a different route, but if you're doing S. Side don't venture too far off the boot track. There were glissade trails quite near to it as well.

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