MOUNT HOOD, Ore. (KOIN) — A man who climbed to near the top of Mount Hood, where he planned to take his own life, was rescued after changing his mind.
The man had driven from Texas and made his climb to the summit on Thursday. He had no plans to descend.
Officials told KOIN 6 News the man has previously attempted suicide and called people from Mount Hood to let them know he planned to die there.
“He ended up calling basically saying he was up there, he was going to be taking some medication,” Sean Collison with the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office said.
Mountain Wave Search & Rescue said they were notified at 5 p.m. Thursday there was a person who needed to be rescued. The rescue had to be delayed for safety.
When rescuers eventually reached him, they found that he was uninjured but needed help getting down.
Conditions on the mountain were treacherous in the middle of the hot summer day, with rocks falling and ice melting.
“This time of day the mountain just starts to fall apart,” Phil Cole with the 304th rescue squadron said. “Everything is melting, ice and rock is coming off the mountain.”
The Oregon Army National Guard sent an HH 60 Blackhawk from Salem and CH 47 Chinook Helicopter from Pendleton to assist with the rescue.
The Chinook helicopter was able to fly up to more than 11,000 feet, the pilots landing just the tail end in the snow with the front still hovering as the rescue team brought the climber on.
“Because of the angle, we had to crawl out there just to get under the rotor blades,” Joshua Kruse with the 304th rescue squadron said. “It’s kind of surreal but you just have to trust that the pilots know what they’re doing.”
The man was put in an ambulance when the chopper landed.