Dramatic moment a climber is airlifted off Mount Hood in Oregon after falling 700 feet


Dramatic moment a second climber is airlifted off Mount Hood in Oregon in as many weeks after losing grip on his ice ax and falling as much as 700 feet

  • The man, a 43-year-old from the Portland suburb of Happy Valley, lost his grip on his ice axe while climbing a ridge near the mountain’s 11,000 foot summit on Saturday
  • The man was taken to a hospital in the Portland area. His condition is unknown at this time, but he reportedly suffered ‘serious injuries’ 
  • The incident was the second fall in the same area of Mt. hood in as many weeks, following a 31-year-old woman’s fall from the same location on June 24

Dramatic footage shows the helicopter rescue of a climber who plummeted at least 700 feet from the face of Mt. Hood in Oregon on Saturday.

The man, identified as a 43-year-old from the Portland suburb of Happy Valley, reportedly lost his grip on his ice axe while climbing a ridge near the mountain’s 11,000 foot summit, by a location known as Old Chute.

Witnesses who saw the terrifying plunge said he fell as much as 700 feet, and landed near the Hot Rocks fumarole – a volcanic vent that hot gases are released from – according to the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office.

Officials said the victim was tended to by people on the scene, before rescue crews from the Oregon Army National Guard arrived by helicopter to take over and remove the man. It took rescue crews four hours to reach the man, KPTV reported. 

The man was taken to a hospital in the Portland area. His condition is unknown at this time, but he suffered ‘serious injuries’ according to KPTV.

The man, identified as a 43-year-old from the Portland suburb of Happy Valley, reportedly lost his grip on his ice axe while climbing a ridge near the mountain's 11,000 foot summit, by a location known as Old Chute

The man, identified as a 43-year-old from the Portland suburb of Happy Valley, reportedly lost his grip on his ice axe while climbing a ridge near the mountain’s 11,000 foot summit, by a location known as Old Chute

Mt. hood is over 11,000 feet tall. Saturday's incident was the second in as many weeks involving an air rescue from the same location on the mountain

Mt. hood is over 11,000 feet tall. Saturday’s incident was the second in as many weeks involving an air rescue from the same location on the mountain

Video shot from the scene showed the helicopter perched on its belly across a crest of snow along a narrow ridge, its nose and tail hanging over thin air as the mountain’s faces slope steeply away to either side. 

As the rotors beat the air, a pair of crew members stepped out onto the ridge and secured the door shut behind them as the helicopter readied for lift off. 

In the background, the fumes from the fumarole can be seen spewing from the rocks into the cold air, and as the copter lifted off they swirled about its downdraft. 

A line of people clad in helmets and winter gear watched from from a distance on the crest, their skis and poles thrust into the snow as the rescue carried on.

The helicopter can be seen lifting up into the blue sky, before flying away over the mountains.

Video shot from the scene showed the helicopter perched on its belly across a crest of snow along a narrow ridge, its nose and tail hanging over thin air as the mountains faces slope steeply away to either side

Video shot from the scene showed the helicopter perched on its belly across a crest of snow along a narrow ridge, its nose and tail hanging over thin air as the mountains faces slope steeply away to either side

A line of people clad in helmets and winter gear watched from a distance away on the crest, their skis and poles thrust into the snow as the rescue carried on

A line of people clad in helmets and winter gear watched from a distance away on the crest, their skis and poles thrust into the snow as the rescue carried on

The helicopter can be seen lifting up into the blue sky, before flying away over the mountains

The helicopter can be seen lifting up into the blue sky, before flying away over the mountains

The man was taken to a hospital in the Portland area. His condition is unknown at this time, but he suffered 'serious injuries' according to KPTV

The man was taken to a hospital in the Portland area. His condition is unknown at this time, but he suffered ‘serious injuries’ according to KPTV

The incident was the second fall in the same area of Mt. hood in as many weeks, officials said. 

On June 24, a 31-year-old woman from the Portland area also fell several hundred feet from the summit ridge near Old Chute.

That woman was also airlifted off the mountain, and sustained critical injuries according to authorities. Her condition was also not available.

Jeremy Vallerand, who witnessed the woman’s fall, said she also lost her grip on her axe and slid about 900 feet face first down the mountain before landing inside a fumarole vent.

‘She hits the rocks, what appeared to be head-first,’ he told KIRO, ‘Flips over and then straight down into a fumarole.’

Vallerand said he assumed if the fall hadn’t killed her, the volcanic fumes would. After it was determined the woman had survived, he and others on the scene improvised a pulley system and pulled the woman to safety.  

A chopper airlifts a 31-year-old woman who also fell several hundred feet from the summit ridge near Old Chute on June 24

A chopper airlifts a 31-year-old woman who also fell several hundred feet from the summit ridge near Old Chute on June 24

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