Climber dies after 500 foot fall on Mt. Hood

Clackamas County

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A climber is dead after falling 500 feet near the Old Chute on Mt. Hood Sunday morning, according to the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office.

Shortly after 9 a.m. Sunday, witnesses called 911 to report a climber had fallen an estimated 500 feet.
Authorities identified him at Patrick Michael Stretch of Spokane. The 64-year-old was descending Mt. Hood with his adult son on the popular Old Chute route, at approximately 10,500′ elevation, when he reportedly fell, according to CCSO.

CCSO Search & Rescue coordinators immediately responded and set up a command post at Timberline Lodge and were assisted by multiple agencies including Portland Mountain Rescue (PMR),  Hood River Crag Rats and American Medical Response‘s Reach and Treat Team.

The Oregon Office of Emergency Management (OEM) was notified had aircraft on standby. Members of the Mt. Hood Ski Patrol were also staged and ready to assist.

A member of PMR and a member of the Crag Rats happened to be recreating on Mt. Hood when they learned of the accident; the two SAR volunteers immediately started making their way to the accident scene to assist with rescue efforts, according to CCSO.

But by the time rescuers reached the climber, he was already dead,

The mission then became a recovery mission. Teams loaded the body onto a skiable rescue litter basket, and at 4:20 p.m. they began making their way down the mountain to Timberline Lodge.

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