Man passes out descending Mount St. Helens

By Patty Hastings, Columbian breaking news reporter

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A man in his 20s was transported to the hospital after losing consciousness as he descended Mount St. Helens Thursday afternoon.

The man was with eight other climbers, just starting to descend the 8,365-foot peak at 2 p.m., said North Country EMS Assistant Chief Tom McDowell. The group called 911 when the man started to have what looked like a seizure and lost consciousness.

Three members from North Country EMS's Pine Creek station arrived on scene with plenty of fluids to rehydrate the exhausted climber. He was flown off the mountain and sent to Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center. His name was not available.

"The sun is really hot out there today. It's beating down on you and there's no shade," McDowell said. "You have to take plenty of water. It's a really tough climb this time of year."