What happened on Mt. Hood?

4:00 p.m. on May 30, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

Anyone watching CNN? Just got a message there was an accident on Mt. hood and a helicopter crashed during the rescure.

4:13 p.m. on May 30, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

Mount Hood fall kills 3; crash hinders rescue
May 30, 2002 Posted: 5:11 PM EDT (2111 GMT)

 

GOVERNMENT CAMP, Oregon (CNN) -- Three people died and four others were trapped in a crevasse on Mount Hood after they fell during a climbing expedition Thursday, a Clackamas County fire official said.

A rescue mission encountered further disaster when a military Black Hawk helicopter attempting to reach the climbers crashed Thursday afternoon on the side of the mountain. The chopper's rotors smashed into the mountainside and broke apart, sending the damaged aircraft rolling down a snowy slope.

There were no immediate reports of injuries from the chopper crash.

The climbers were with others in a group just 800 feet from Mount Hood's summit when they fell, Clackamas County fire Capt. Jamie Karn said. Weather conditions at the time of the accident were "absolutely beautiful -- a clear, sunny day," Karn said.

No details on the ages or nationalities of the climbers were available.

Mount Hood is in the Cascade Mountains and is more than 11,000 feet high

4:21 p.m. on May 30, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Gorge Hiker

Place your bets. I'm guessing there is going to be an outcry if a helicopter crashed in an effort to rescue survivors.

5:29 p.m. on May 30, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

What route were they on?

Quote:

Anyone watching CNN? Just got a message there was an accident on Mt. hood and a helicopter crashed during the rescure.

5:32 p.m. on May 30, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

Three climbers dead on Rainier, too.....

Accident yesterday, I believe it was, killed two men and one woman. With the accident on Rainier, and the Hood accident today, doesn't inspire much "good luck," especially when I plan to be on both hills in just a few days!

Quote:

Anyone watching CNN? Just got a message there was an accident on Mt. hood and a helicopter crashed during the rescure.

1:27 a.m. on May 31, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

Rescue fee? See ABC or NBC on this Friday nightly news

One of the network is going to revisit the issue on the cost of rescue and who should pay for it.

The Rainier accident was on Liberty Cap, I read it on CNN in Thursday morning. Wait... here it is:
http://www.cnn.com/2002/US/05/29/rainier.deaths.ap/index.html

7:56 a.m. on May 31, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Scott, Scott M

Got this from Yahoo....CNN had the story unfolding live on TV. THey kept showing the crash over and over....


Airmen Survive Rescue Chopper Crash
Fri May 31, 4:41 AM ET
By JOSEPH B. FRAZIER, Associated Press Writer

TIMBERLINE LODGE, Ore. (AP) - A climbing accident that killed three people on Mount Hood nearly turned into a far worse disaster when an Air Force Reserve rescue helicopter crashed and careened down the slope.

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AP Photo
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Rescue Chopper Crashes On Mount Hood
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Rescue Helicopter Crashes Into Mount Hood (KGW - Portland)

Rescue Copter Crashes on Mount Hood (AP)

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11:59 a.m. on May 31, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

South Side (NT)

Quote:

What route were they on?

Quote:

Anyone watching CNN? Just got a message there was an accident on Mt. hood and a helicopter crashed during the rescure.

5:56 p.m. on May 31, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

Nightline will cover this issue tonight.
6:42 p.m. on June 1, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

Should they have used a running belay? nm

Quote:

-(

10:30 a.m. on June 4, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Karl
Re: Should they have used a running belay? nm

Can't really say what they "should" have done. There's too much we don't know about the details of the events, but if there are 10,000 climbers a year going thru that same spot and reports apparently indicate that there have been no serious accidents in that berg for over 25 years (Oregonian, for what that's worth) the techniques having been used over time by the mountaineering community have worked pretty well. Eventually, the freak accident was bound to happen.

So, even though there isn't enough information to even try and ascertain what anyone "should" have done, the event does bring to mind things climbers should keep in mind to increase safety--all things we know--but maybe we (I know I do) need a reminder. Make sure all team members are good at self-arrest--even in descent, make sure you are parallel with the fall line when arresting, keep little slack in the rope, avoid climbing in another's fall line when on steep terrain, recognize that even a shallow crevasse (if wide) can be deadly when sliding at high speeds into its opposite wall, look for other routes that improve your runout (skirting the berg on the right where it's closed (filled in) puts you over a longer more ominous looking runout (Devil's Kitchen) than on the left where the runout is shorter and "feels" safer, but avoids the danger of being above the open berg, or going 200 yds to the left of the berg and go up another chute avoiding the berg altogether.

There a few others that could be mentioned that don't apply to the conditions of the recent incident like avoid steep soft mushy snow with bad runouts and use anti-balling plates, etc.

As to the running belay--that may have improved safety, but on the descent would have required more footwork and bending over doing hand and rope work at the anchors--all which offer the chance for a slip. Belays take time and often speed is safety, and it would have increased the bottleneck issue and so may not be a real practical solution for that spot on weekends. However, when successful team arrest is unlikely because of team condition or steep, very slick or mushy conditions and the runout is likely to end in serious injury or death, then a running belay is warranted (at least by me). The risk aversion of the team also comes into the decision.

ks

10:43 a.m. on June 4, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Karl
Re: Should they have used a running belay? Forgot one thing.

Forgot one more concept on such terrain: Use self-belay with every other step all the way up through the exposed area. However, this becomes much more difficult to actually do on the descent.

12:42 p.m. on June 9, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

a.k.a. Chris Jain
2 more dead on Rainier + one near fatal accident

Is this string of accidents in the NW a coincidence or are the conditions more dangerous this year?

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/73745_rainier07ww.shtml

4:21 p.m. on June 12, 2002 (EDT)
(Guest)

A thread from summitpost

http://www.summitpost.com/message_board/read.php?f=10&i=298&t=298

This thread sort of answered my question about running belay.

November 23, 2014
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