Oregon Climber Dies After 500-Foot Fall

A 63-year-old mountain climber died on Sunday after he fell an estimated 500 feet while descending Oregon's Mount Hood with his adult son.

The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office announced in a statement on Monday that the unnamed man fell from the mountain at around 9:00 a.m. on Sunday during "an unusually busy weekend for climbing."

The authorities said that the department's Search & Rescue team "immediately responded" to several calls from witnesses who had seen the man fall while at an elevation of around 10,500 feet.

Members of both the Portland Mountain Rescue and the Hood River Crag Rats search-and-rescue teams, who were visiting Mount Hood at the time of the incident, also aided the authorities in the search for the fallen man.

A command post was set up in a nearby lodge by members of the sheriff's office, as Mount Hood Ski Patrol joined the groups for the rescue mission.

The teams were able to locate the man, but had to check the surrounding toxic-gas levels before moving towards him to "ensure rescuers could safely reach the subject," the sheriff's office said in its statement.

The search party was able to reach the man at around 10:30 a.m. but confirmed that he was dead by the time they were able to locate him.

NEWS RELEASE: Climber falls 500 feet on Mt. Hood; SAR teams respond; climber found deceased -- https://t.co/hYTfsBQcbk pic.twitter.com/MhSLDZ3lHM

— Clackamas Sheriff (@ClackCoSheriff) May 31, 2021

His body was transported to the command post via a "skiable rescue litter basket" and the authorities said that they will not release the name of the victim until all of his family members have been notified.

Portland Mountain Rescue released a message following the announcement of the man's death, warning climbers to be careful while visiting Mount Hood.

"Warm weather at this time of year can create very unstable conditions on this area of Mt. Hood, including falling ice. The addition of many climbers of varying skill levels can add additional hazards.

"Exercise caution while climbing Mt. Hood this weekend," the group said in a statement shared by the sheriff's office.

Mount Hood, which is classified by the U.S. Geological Survey as a potentially active composite volcano, is considered to be the most likely volcano in Oregon to erupt.

The mountain stands at more than 11,000 feet and is located in Clackamas County, around an hour's drive from the city of Portland, Oregon.

Newsweek has contacted the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office and Portland Mountain Rescue for comment on the incident.

Climber dies after falling from Mount Hood
Mt. Hood rises above the clouds March 17, 2016 near Portland, Oregon. A 63-year-old climber died on Sunday after he fell an estimated 500 feet while descending Oregon’s Mount Hood with his son. Don Emmert/AFP via Getty Images