A climber died after falling at least 700 feet on Oregon’s Mount Hood Tuesday, and seven others who were stranded have been rescued and are making their way down the mountain ahead of frigid weather at nightfall, according to authorities with the Clackamas County Sheriff’s office.
“Our search and rescue partners are still up on the mountain working to reach the other approximate seven people that are still hunkered down, still on the mountain,” Sergeant Brian Jensen told the media Tuesday afternoon.
The immediate Tuesday night forecast for Mount Hood, according to the National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration, is 18 degrees Fahrenheit with a wind chill factor of -1 and a high chance of snow.
“We are fighting against time as the heavy weather is supposed to be rolling in this evening, and they are trying to get there as quickly and safely as possible to get the folks out,” Jensen said.
The climber who died was airlifted from via helicopter the mountain earlier Tuesday afternoon, but was pronounced dead on arrival upon reaching the hospital. Authorities have not released the identity.
Jensen said one of the climbers who is still stranded was injured, but the injury is not believed to be life threatening. He did not know how close the rescuers were to the climbers, but noted that conditions on the mountain were “treacherous.” Helicopters have not been deployed to airlift the remaining climbers who were stranded, he said.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Clackamas County Sheriff’s office said one group of four hikers was stranded, one of the climbers had been injured, and another climber had fallen.
According to data compiled by The Oregonian, there have been at least 100 fatalities on Mount Hood since 1883. Prior to Tuesday, the most recent fatality on Mount Hood was in August of 2017.