Rescue teams say be prepared before heading out on popular Mt. H - KPTV - FOX 12

Rescue teams say be prepared before heading out on popular Mt. Hood trails

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Mount Hood, file image Mount Hood, file image

The harsh winter has finally turned a corner, and with that, more people are headed to Mount Hood. Experts say before you head out on a popular path, make sure you're well prepared.

On Sunday, 32-year-old John Jenkins from Seattle died after he fell nearly 600 feet. Rescue teams say Jenkins wasn't tied to a rope and slippery conditions caught him off guard.

"It's always on your mind when you hear something recently and you just have concerns about your safety," said Anthony, who was hiking on Mt. Hood Monday.

Deputies say Jenkins went hiking Sunday morning on Mt. Hood and took the popular, and infamous, Pearly Gates route.

"This route can be very narrow and its gotten more narrow this year just because climbers have eroded the ice in it, so now it's not possible for climbers going up to past climbers coming down," said Mark Morford with Portland Mountain Rescue.

Morford says the path is not always the best to take at it can be filled with almost 400 climbers at once. 

"On a pretty weekend day we'll see 300, 400 climbers trying to go up the south side routes on Mt. Hood. That's a lot of climbers," said Morford.

The advice from rescuers is if you're going to do it, do it right. Try taking one of the several other routes available, like the Mazama Chute or the One O'Clock Couloir.

"Go to some place where you don't have to fight with other climbers. You'll have more fun, you'll do it a lot faster and it's a lot safer," said Morford.

Morford says Portland Mountain Rescue is talking about setting a quota for the number of people who are on the path at one time. He says he's hoping the set limit will push climbers to use other paths on the mountain.

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