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Climber, rescuers picked up from the summit of Oregon's Mt. Hood in helicopter

Posted at 7:46 AM, Jul 19, 2018

Rescuers were able to save a man from the top of Oregon's Mt. Hood last Friday despite treacherous climbing conditions and less than ideal surroundings for a helicopter landing.

According to KOIN-TV, the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office received a call on Thursday from a man who said he was on the mountain's summit and needed help getting down.

The man told operators that he had driven from Texas with the intention to commit suicide by overdosing on medication at the top of Mt. Hood, but had changed his mind.

Rescue climbers were notified at 5 p.m. on Thursday, but the attempt was initially delayed due to safety concerns.

By the time climbers were able to reach the caller on Friday, climbing conditions had deteriorated. The warm summer mid-day weather was causing ice and snow to melt, meaning surfaces were slick and rocks were loose.

Eventually, the Oregon National Guard sent two helicopters to Mt. Hood in attempt to retrieve both the climber and the rescuers.

But due to the slope of the mountain, the helicopters could not make a full landing. Pilots were forced to hover near the mountain, as climbers crawled on a ramp inches beneath the chopper's rotary blades and into the aircraft.

All six people were rescued. Upon landing, the climber who called for a rescue was taken to a hospital in an ambulance.



Alex Hider is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @alexhider.