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Mt. Hood – Part I – The Beginning

I made it to Portland, Oregon about 2:30a.m. last night, slept over at relatives home, Don and Marilyn’s home, very nice, “anything is yours in this house” kind of family. I slept in until about 8a.m., very nice. Getting some free starbucks at safeway with my $50 safeway gift card I got when my truck was hit and repaired.

I’m going to pick up Kevin (one of our teammates for this trip) in an hour.  He just climbed Mt. Hood a few days ago, and got struck by a baseball-sized ice fall in the face, like someone had just punched him with a solid fist to the jaw, and felt like his teeth were knocked out.

He climbed Mt. hood a few days ago, got started at 10:30p.m. on the mountain, and by 4:30a.m. was stuck in 70-degree steep incline, and had to backtrack until he could find a place to sleep in his bivy sack on the snow, until the sun could peek up a little, and give him some direction.  By 5:15a.m., he started seeing many climbers, so he started up.  Towards the upper region, ice was peeling off these pillars and falling. When he was near the summit, he  saw one person get hit with ice-fall debree, as small as a plate, but good enough to knock him over about 250 feet down the hill, towards a group of 13 other climbers, and after having seen him fall that distance, they all decided to turn around.  The person who got hit, was good enough to get up and walk away.  There has been two heli-avacs this last weekend, and others have been hit by ice on this one section, but not bad enough to get heli’d out.

Also, at one point, Kevin heard a huge thundering crack, like an avalanche was getting ready to unload, a some major ice-fall was about to come down, and so he started running, even though he didn’t see anything.  Made his heartbeat a little faster than typical.  It’s just this one section below the summit that is causing all this rumble.  The sun is coming out strong right now, which is why this is all happening.  This is untypical for this time of year.

If these are the conditions, I will not subject myself to getting whacked by some ice.  We may wait a few more days for colder weather to climb up to that point, and check out the conditions.  I don’t need to summit (although that’s why I came up here), but my fav line is “getting to the top is optional, getting down is mandatory.”  We may climb Mt. Rainier instead first, and come back later.

Gotta go. I will post some photos when I start shooting.
Later and blessings,
Charleton

  • Steffani - Wow! Please be safe and cautious. I will keep you and your team in my prayers. If you need an air evac, I can send you my husband 😉 God Speed neighbor!

    ~SteffaniMay 20, 2009 – 12:22 amReplyCancel

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