Vancouver boy, 10, hurt on Mount Hood speaks publicly

Cole Hancock faces physical, speech therapy after fracturing skull

By Patty Hastings, Columbian breaking news reporter

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A 10-year-old Vancouver boy talked to media Wednesday after tumbling 150 feet down a steep hill on Mount Hood last week.

Cole Hancock and his dad, Kim, spoke to reporters Wednesday at Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland, where the boy was listed in fair condition.

The boy and his father were hiking July 23 above the White River parking lot, when he slipped and fell, fracturing his skull in three places.

Kim carried his unconscious son to their campsite, where he called for help, but it took about three hours for two rescuers with the Hood River Crag Rats to arrive at the site, according to KATU-TV, The Columbian's television news partner.

He was carried back to the parking lot and put on an air ambulance to Doernbecher.

Cole doesn't remember the fall or the helicopter flight. Still dealing with the effects of his head injury, he doesn't remember how to read a clock, KATU-TV reporter Bob Heye reported.

"When I'm up there, I'll … alive and I still alive. I'm alive and I still — I wanna be up there still," Cole told reporters Wednesday.

Cole continues speech and physical therapy; physicians say he'll take a full year to recover and regain lost skills.

"To hear him say he's hurting was pretty painful This is the first time I've ever heard him say or talk about the accident at all," Kim said

He expects his son to return to school in the fall.