A climber fell to his death on Mount Hood Sunday morning, plunging 500 feet near the mountain’s summit.
The climber, a 63-year-old man, was descending with his adult son on the popular Old Chute route. He fell shortly after 9 a.m. at about 10,500 feet high on the 11,250-foot peak, according to the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office.
Search and rescue teams from Portland Mountain Rescue, Hood River Crag Rats and American Medical Response began making their way up the mountain after the rescue call came in. A member of the Portland Mountain Rescue team was climbing near the scene and helped rescue efforts.
Rescue crews reached witnesses at 10:31 a.m. and made visual contact with the fallen climber, who was not moving.
The climber had fallen into an area with many fumaroles, which emit hydrogen sulfide and other toxic gasses. Crews monitored toxic gas levels as they used ropes to reach the climber.
Rescue crews declared the climber dead upon reaching him. His identity has not been released, pending family notification.
With clear weather, this Memorial Day weekend has been extremely busy for climbing on Mount Hood. The Timberline Lodge parking lot was at capacity at by 6 a.m. Sunday, leading to a closure of the road to the lodge.