Another Hood Accident

Another Hood Accident

Jeffrey Cook
Jeffrey Cook

May 30th, 2002, 8:07 pm #1

Climbers fall into the Bergschrund on the Hogsback. Here's the text as forwarded to me by a coworker:

7 climbers fall into crevasse near Mount Hood summit
Associated Press
May 30, 2002 12:07:00

TIMBERLINE LODGE, Ore. - Seven climbers fell into a crevasse near the summit of 11,240-foot Mount Hood on Thursday morning, and at least one climber is feared dead, authorities said.
Two groups of climbers were about 800 feet from the summit at 9 a.m. when they fell, said Angela Blanchard, Clackamas County sheriff's spokeswoman.
Several climbers were injured and rescuers were sent to the scene, she said.
A paramedic who was with the group did not fall into the crevasse and was trying to guide rescuers using his cell phone, Blanchard said.
At least two rescue helicopters were en route, said sheriff's Sgt. Nick Watt, who was helping organize the rescue from a command post at Timberline Lodge.
"We've got some injuries, some trauma injuries," Watt said, but he could not confirm whether there had been a death.
Keith Mischke, executive director of the Mazamas climbing club, said the crevasse is one of the last obstacles before reaching the summit of the mountain, the tallest in Oregon.
"Normally at this time of year, you can either go around the end, or cross a snow bridge," Mischke said.
Snow bridges occur naturally in the crevasse after winter. The crevasse is about 25 to 30 feet deep and is formed where a glacier is pulling away from the mountain, Mischke said.
If climbers try to cross a snow bridge, early in the morning is considered safest before the sun starts to melt the snow, he said.
"Normally people rope up at that point," said Mischke, who has 35 years of climbing experience, much of it on Mount Hood.
"They go across the bridges one at a time usually - a snow bridge can be between 2 feet or 15 feet wide," he said. But he added: "If somebody falls they could pull the others in."
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Dan
Dan

May 30th, 2002, 8:09 pm #2

just put a link to an article in the Rainier thread seconds ago.
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Jeffrey Cook
Jeffrey Cook

May 30th, 2002, 8:13 pm #3

Climbers fall into the Bergschrund on the Hogsback. Here's the text as forwarded to me by a coworker:

7 climbers fall into crevasse near Mount Hood summit
Associated Press
May 30, 2002 12:07:00

TIMBERLINE LODGE, Ore. - Seven climbers fell into a crevasse near the summit of 11,240-foot Mount Hood on Thursday morning, and at least one climber is feared dead, authorities said.
Two groups of climbers were about 800 feet from the summit at 9 a.m. when they fell, said Angela Blanchard, Clackamas County sheriff's spokeswoman.
Several climbers were injured and rescuers were sent to the scene, she said.
A paramedic who was with the group did not fall into the crevasse and was trying to guide rescuers using his cell phone, Blanchard said.
At least two rescue helicopters were en route, said sheriff's Sgt. Nick Watt, who was helping organize the rescue from a command post at Timberline Lodge.
"We've got some injuries, some trauma injuries," Watt said, but he could not confirm whether there had been a death.
Keith Mischke, executive director of the Mazamas climbing club, said the crevasse is one of the last obstacles before reaching the summit of the mountain, the tallest in Oregon.
"Normally at this time of year, you can either go around the end, or cross a snow bridge," Mischke said.
Snow bridges occur naturally in the crevasse after winter. The crevasse is about 25 to 30 feet deep and is formed where a glacier is pulling away from the mountain, Mischke said.
If climbers try to cross a snow bridge, early in the morning is considered safest before the sun starts to melt the snow, he said.
"Normally people rope up at that point," said Mischke, who has 35 years of climbing experience, much of it on Mount Hood.
"They go across the bridges one at a time usually - a snow bridge can be between 2 feet or 15 feet wide," he said. But he added: "If somebody falls they could pull the others in."
When I was there on May 18, the 'schrund was wide open (5 or 6 feet) on the left (west) side, and a modest crack on the right. It was spanned right along the crest of the Hogsback by a good bridge 4-5 feet wide. The ice forming the bridge was clearly cracked and compressed, and of unknown thickness, but it felt pretty solid. Lots of hard ice under a thin crust of snow, and good steps all the way up to the summit slope.

I don't know if the condition of the bridge had anything to do with the accident or not.
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Dan
Dan

May 30th, 2002, 9:22 pm #4

Climbers fall into the Bergschrund on the Hogsback. Here's the text as forwarded to me by a coworker:

7 climbers fall into crevasse near Mount Hood summit
Associated Press
May 30, 2002 12:07:00

TIMBERLINE LODGE, Ore. - Seven climbers fell into a crevasse near the summit of 11,240-foot Mount Hood on Thursday morning, and at least one climber is feared dead, authorities said.
Two groups of climbers were about 800 feet from the summit at 9 a.m. when they fell, said Angela Blanchard, Clackamas County sheriff's spokeswoman.
Several climbers were injured and rescuers were sent to the scene, she said.
A paramedic who was with the group did not fall into the crevasse and was trying to guide rescuers using his cell phone, Blanchard said.
At least two rescue helicopters were en route, said sheriff's Sgt. Nick Watt, who was helping organize the rescue from a command post at Timberline Lodge.
"We've got some injuries, some trauma injuries," Watt said, but he could not confirm whether there had been a death.
Keith Mischke, executive director of the Mazamas climbing club, said the crevasse is one of the last obstacles before reaching the summit of the mountain, the tallest in Oregon.
"Normally at this time of year, you can either go around the end, or cross a snow bridge," Mischke said.
Snow bridges occur naturally in the crevasse after winter. The crevasse is about 25 to 30 feet deep and is formed where a glacier is pulling away from the mountain, Mischke said.
If climbers try to cross a snow bridge, early in the morning is considered safest before the sun starts to melt the snow, he said.
"Normally people rope up at that point," said Mischke, who has 35 years of climbing experience, much of it on Mount Hood.
"They go across the bridges one at a time usually - a snow bridge can be between 2 feet or 15 feet wide," he said. But he added: "If somebody falls they could pull the others in."
Subject: CNN Breaking News

-- Rescue helicopter crashes while attempting to rescue climbers on Mount Hood. Casualties unknown.
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roger
roger

May 30th, 2002, 9:33 pm #5

Since I'm big into freakouts. This was the original date of Mt. Hood climb but I rescheduled with Timberline because I couldn't meet up with my brother as planned.
http://www.cnn.com/2002/US/05/30/oregon ... index.html


GOVERNMENT CAMP, Oregon (CNN) -- Three people died and four others were trapped in a crevasse on Mount Hood after they fell during a climbing expedition Thursday, a Clackamas County fire official said.

A rescue mission encountered further disaster when a military Black Hawk helicopter attempting to reach the climbers crashed Thursday afternoon on the side of the mountain. The chopper's rotors smashed into the mountainside and broke apart, sending the damaged aircraft rolling down a snowy slope.

There were no immediate reports of injuries from the chopper crash.

The climbers were with others in a group just 800 feet from Mount Hood's summit when they fell, Clackamas County fire Capt. Jamie Karn said. Weather conditions at the time of the accident were "absolutely beautiful -- a clear, sunny day," Karn said.

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roger
roger

May 30th, 2002, 9:56 pm #6

KGW has video of the crash.

Video of analysis of the crash

Slideshow of the rescue and crash

http://www.kgw.com/


Description ot the Hood Route:
http://www.kgw.com/news-local/stories/k ... 47878.html
The route on the southside of Mt. Hood where at least nine climbers fell into a bergschrund, or crack in the ground, Thursday is widely used and considered relatively safe, according to one local expert.
This is not a common occurance," he said. "The bergschrund is well known to climbers and very visable."

Godino said he could only recall one previous death occuring from a person falling into this particular crevasse, and that was many years ago.

"It's enough of a crack that someone can fall in and get hurt," he elaborated. And at this time of year, the bergschrund can be particularly large.
"For the next month and a half, it's a pretty big bergschrund," he said. "It can get to be big enough to drop a school bus into it."
Although some of the participants are concerned given the incident, Godino maintains the mountain is generally safe if proper precautions are taken.


It has breaking news:
http://www.kgw.com/news-local/stories/k ... bd2b5.html

A tragic event happened on Mt. Hood at about 1:50 p.m. An Air National Guard Black Hawk helicopter crashed while trying to leave the site of a rescue, above a crevasse, where nine climbers fell this morning.
Rollins, from Portland Mountain Rescue, said conditions on the mountain are getting more risky by the moment. Temperatures continue to rise, impacting the stability of the glacier.
"It’s getting quite hot which is raising avalanche hazards as well as rock fall and ice fall hazards," Rollins said.
Back in 1986, a group of nine teenagers and two teachers from the Oregon Episcopal School were involved in an accident while trying to climb Mt. Hood. Nine of them froze to death. This was the greatest tragedy in Oregon climbing history.
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roger
roger

May 31st, 2002, 1:40 pm #7

Climbers fall into the Bergschrund on the Hogsback. Here's the text as forwarded to me by a coworker:

7 climbers fall into crevasse near Mount Hood summit
Associated Press
May 30, 2002 12:07:00

TIMBERLINE LODGE, Ore. - Seven climbers fell into a crevasse near the summit of 11,240-foot Mount Hood on Thursday morning, and at least one climber is feared dead, authorities said.
Two groups of climbers were about 800 feet from the summit at 9 a.m. when they fell, said Angela Blanchard, Clackamas County sheriff's spokeswoman.
Several climbers were injured and rescuers were sent to the scene, she said.
A paramedic who was with the group did not fall into the crevasse and was trying to guide rescuers using his cell phone, Blanchard said.
At least two rescue helicopters were en route, said sheriff's Sgt. Nick Watt, who was helping organize the rescue from a command post at Timberline Lodge.
"We've got some injuries, some trauma injuries," Watt said, but he could not confirm whether there had been a death.
Keith Mischke, executive director of the Mazamas climbing club, said the crevasse is one of the last obstacles before reaching the summit of the mountain, the tallest in Oregon.
"Normally at this time of year, you can either go around the end, or cross a snow bridge," Mischke said.
Snow bridges occur naturally in the crevasse after winter. The crevasse is about 25 to 30 feet deep and is formed where a glacier is pulling away from the mountain, Mischke said.
If climbers try to cross a snow bridge, early in the morning is considered safest before the sun starts to melt the snow, he said.
"Normally people rope up at that point," said Mischke, who has 35 years of climbing experience, much of it on Mount Hood.
"They go across the bridges one at a time usually - a snow bridge can be between 2 feet or 15 feet wide," he said. But he added: "If somebody falls they could pull the others in."
The accident was a grim reminder of how deadly Mount Hood can be. Stately, perennially capped with snow and within an easy drive from Portland, the 11,240-foot mountain is Oregon's highest peak and attracts throngs of skiers, climbers and campers all year long. Because of the rescues and crash, officials closed Mount Hood to all climbers indefinitely.

Mount Hood is among the most-climbed mountains in the world. Brian Wheeler, president of Northwest School of Survival-International Training Program in Portland, said the south side ascent can be like a staircase, with dozens of climbers passing one another.
"There's basically a path to the summit this time of year, everybody takes the same route," Wheeler said.
Many of those climbers rope themselves together, so they can stop one another if someone falls. If they are unable to dig in, however, everyone in the party can fall as well.


http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonia ... 212460.xml

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roger
roger

May 31st, 2002, 1:43 pm #8

Climbers fall into the Bergschrund on the Hogsback. Here's the text as forwarded to me by a coworker:

7 climbers fall into crevasse near Mount Hood summit
Associated Press
May 30, 2002 12:07:00

TIMBERLINE LODGE, Ore. - Seven climbers fell into a crevasse near the summit of 11,240-foot Mount Hood on Thursday morning, and at least one climber is feared dead, authorities said.
Two groups of climbers were about 800 feet from the summit at 9 a.m. when they fell, said Angela Blanchard, Clackamas County sheriff's spokeswoman.
Several climbers were injured and rescuers were sent to the scene, she said.
A paramedic who was with the group did not fall into the crevasse and was trying to guide rescuers using his cell phone, Blanchard said.
At least two rescue helicopters were en route, said sheriff's Sgt. Nick Watt, who was helping organize the rescue from a command post at Timberline Lodge.
"We've got some injuries, some trauma injuries," Watt said, but he could not confirm whether there had been a death.
Keith Mischke, executive director of the Mazamas climbing club, said the crevasse is one of the last obstacles before reaching the summit of the mountain, the tallest in Oregon.
"Normally at this time of year, you can either go around the end, or cross a snow bridge," Mischke said.
Snow bridges occur naturally in the crevasse after winter. The crevasse is about 25 to 30 feet deep and is formed where a glacier is pulling away from the mountain, Mischke said.
If climbers try to cross a snow bridge, early in the morning is considered safest before the sun starts to melt the snow, he said.
"Normally people rope up at that point," said Mischke, who has 35 years of climbing experience, much of it on Mount Hood.
"They go across the bridges one at a time usually - a snow bridge can be between 2 feet or 15 feet wide," he said. But he added: "If somebody falls they could pull the others in."
In the last 100 years, experts said there have been 130 deaths on Mount Hood. In the last 10 years in the United States, there have been an average of 30 climbing fatalities a year, said Jed Williamson, who edits the Accidents in North American Mountaineering publication for the American Alpine Club.
http://www.nationalpost.com/news/update ... 21036.html

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roger
roger

May 31st, 2002, 1:52 pm #9

Climbers fall into the Bergschrund on the Hogsback. Here's the text as forwarded to me by a coworker:

7 climbers fall into crevasse near Mount Hood summit
Associated Press
May 30, 2002 12:07:00

TIMBERLINE LODGE, Ore. - Seven climbers fell into a crevasse near the summit of 11,240-foot Mount Hood on Thursday morning, and at least one climber is feared dead, authorities said.
Two groups of climbers were about 800 feet from the summit at 9 a.m. when they fell, said Angela Blanchard, Clackamas County sheriff's spokeswoman.
Several climbers were injured and rescuers were sent to the scene, she said.
A paramedic who was with the group did not fall into the crevasse and was trying to guide rescuers using his cell phone, Blanchard said.
At least two rescue helicopters were en route, said sheriff's Sgt. Nick Watt, who was helping organize the rescue from a command post at Timberline Lodge.
"We've got some injuries, some trauma injuries," Watt said, but he could not confirm whether there had been a death.
Keith Mischke, executive director of the Mazamas climbing club, said the crevasse is one of the last obstacles before reaching the summit of the mountain, the tallest in Oregon.
"Normally at this time of year, you can either go around the end, or cross a snow bridge," Mischke said.
Snow bridges occur naturally in the crevasse after winter. The crevasse is about 25 to 30 feet deep and is formed where a glacier is pulling away from the mountain, Mischke said.
If climbers try to cross a snow bridge, early in the morning is considered safest before the sun starts to melt the snow, he said.
"Normally people rope up at that point," said Mischke, who has 35 years of climbing experience, much of it on Mount Hood.
"They go across the bridges one at a time usually - a snow bridge can be between 2 feet or 15 feet wide," he said. But he added: "If somebody falls they could pull the others in."
The Hood accident topped the conclusion of the WTC search phase on all of the NYC t.v. stations I watched last night.

The newscasts began with a teaser for the WTC but followed with an introduction, "but this first..." There of course is a local angle in that some of the injured were from Long Island.

The New York Times, Daily News and New York Post all focused on the WTC conclusion on their front pages this morning. However the NY Times had a front page item pointing to a bigger story inside.

From the NY Times:

Rescuers already on the ground could be seen running toward the wreckage, momentarily interrupting their search for the climbers, who had fallen into a crevasse at least 25 feet deep. A ninth member of the climbing team was the only one not to fall in and had called for help on a cell phone.
The authorities identified the injured climbers as Harry Slutter, 43, of Centerport, N.Y.; Christopher Kern, 40, of Northport, N.Y.; Thomas Hillman, 45, of Windsor, Calif.; and Jeremiah Moffitt, 26, whose hometown was not provided. Mr. Kern was in serious condition, and the others were not as badly injured.
The climbers began their ascent at 3 a.m. today, he said, after leaving Tualatin, a suburb of Portland about 45 miles west of Mount Hood. With sunny skies and temperatures at Mount Hood's Timberline Lodge in the upper 60's, it looked like a perfect day for climbing. But the temperatures made for deadly conditions, as snowmelt helped cause the group to fall into the crevasse.
At about 10:30 a.m. the Air Force 304th Air Rescue Squad, based in Portland, was summoned to begin the rescue. The helicopter crashed shortly before 2 p.m.
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/05/31/national/31HOOD.html


From the Portland Oregonian:
One member of a four-person party slipped, bringing his team down upon two other climbers. They in turn smashed into three more, and all nine slid about 250 feet into the bergschrund, a horizontal gash about 800 feet below the summit. The crack opens each spring as snow begins to melt, and can grow to about 50 feet deep and 20 to 30 feet wide.
http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonia ... 212460.xml

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-adam
-adam

May 31st, 2002, 2:17 pm #10

Climbers fall into the Bergschrund on the Hogsback. Here's the text as forwarded to me by a coworker:

7 climbers fall into crevasse near Mount Hood summit
Associated Press
May 30, 2002 12:07:00

TIMBERLINE LODGE, Ore. - Seven climbers fell into a crevasse near the summit of 11,240-foot Mount Hood on Thursday morning, and at least one climber is feared dead, authorities said.
Two groups of climbers were about 800 feet from the summit at 9 a.m. when they fell, said Angela Blanchard, Clackamas County sheriff's spokeswoman.
Several climbers were injured and rescuers were sent to the scene, she said.
A paramedic who was with the group did not fall into the crevasse and was trying to guide rescuers using his cell phone, Blanchard said.
At least two rescue helicopters were en route, said sheriff's Sgt. Nick Watt, who was helping organize the rescue from a command post at Timberline Lodge.
"We've got some injuries, some trauma injuries," Watt said, but he could not confirm whether there had been a death.
Keith Mischke, executive director of the Mazamas climbing club, said the crevasse is one of the last obstacles before reaching the summit of the mountain, the tallest in Oregon.
"Normally at this time of year, you can either go around the end, or cross a snow bridge," Mischke said.
Snow bridges occur naturally in the crevasse after winter. The crevasse is about 25 to 30 feet deep and is formed where a glacier is pulling away from the mountain, Mischke said.
If climbers try to cross a snow bridge, early in the morning is considered safest before the sun starts to melt the snow, he said.
"Normally people rope up at that point," said Mischke, who has 35 years of climbing experience, much of it on Mount Hood.
"They go across the bridges one at a time usually - a snow bridge can be between 2 feet or 15 feet wide," he said. But he added: "If somebody falls they could pull the others in."
Is there or should there be a club response to incidents like this?

It appears that 2 of the climbers were Highpointers:
http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonia ... 212460.xml
<snip>
Two of those who fell were from Windsor, Calif.: Tom Hillman, 45, and John Biggs, 62. Hillman told his wife, Holly, that he and Biggs were climbing down when another group collided with them, pushing them down the mountain.

Hillman was in serious condition at Legacy Emanuel Hospital & Health Center with a head injury. Biggs' condition was not known.

Hillman and Biggs were members of a group attempting to climb the highest mountains in each state. Biggs' daughter, Danielle Bowerman, said her father is adventurous.
</snip>

Also is there anything that we can do as a club to say thanks to the rescue groups?

Does anyone know what responses other organizations (mountaineering or otherwise) have in wake of accidents like this?

-adam
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