An Oregon hiker was rescued after she slipped and fell hundreds of feet down a popular route on Mt. Hood over the weekend, authorities said.
The 36-year-old woman from Portland was descending the South Side route near the Old Chute, close to the mountain’s summit, around 11:30 a.m. Saturday when she tumbled down and suffered multiple injuries, the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office said.
Portland Mountain Rescue (PMR) personnel, who were already stationed on the mountain as a ready team, witnessed the woman fall and called 911, the sheriff’s office said.
"We had just summited and one of my teammates looked down one of the chutes that we were going to down climb and saw a woman go sliding by," Erik Broms, a PMR Rescue Leader, told FOX12 Oregon.
The team was able to reach the hiker and stabilize her while awaiting backup from other agencies, including the sheriff's office and Hood River Crag Rats.
The 36-year-old Portland woman slipped and tumbled "several hundred feet" down Mt. Hood's popular South Side route near the Old Chute. (Portland Mountain Rescue)
Rescuers kept the woman warm during the seven hours it took to get all the necessary resources to the hiker’s location to transport her safely off the mountain, according to officials.
After setting up complex rope systems, rescuers moved the woman in a stretcher to the Hogsback snow ridge. She was then placed in another stretcher before ultimately being brought down the mountain to the Timberline parking lot around 9:30 p.m., according to authorities.
The hiker was taken to an area hospital for treatment. No update on her injuries or current condition was immediately provided.
While it is unclear how the hiker fell, rescuers warned that current winter conditions can make the climb perilous for inexperienced hikers.
"Mt. Hood is not a beginner mountain — especially in winter conditions," PMR said. "The short days and lower temperatures mean that the snow tends to be very hard and icy, and the route conditions tend to be much steeper and technical."
In a social media post, Broms described conditions near the Old Chute over the weekend as varying from "soft snow to firm plus portions of ice and rime," adding that he "would not recommend this route for the inexperienced climber."
The agency also said that going down the mountain in icy conditions is much more difficult than the climb up.
"Only those with expert mountaineering and ice climbing skills should attempt Mt. Hood in winter, especially when there have been long dry spells with no precipitation," PMR said. "Appropriate and thorough training is critical."
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