'That was it, I was done': Climber recalls traumatic moments aft - KPTV - FOX 12

'That was it, I was done': Climber recalls traumatic moments after fall off Mt. Hood

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A man who fell off Mount Hood near the Hogsback area, a very popular route for climbers from Timberline Lodge, is thankful he survived the climb.

To say Josh Hawk is happy to be back with his wife and kids, would be an understatement especially considering his unfortunate fall just days ago.

“That was it, I was gonna go meet Jesus, man. That was it, I was done,” Hawk said.

A native northwesterner and avid outdoorsman, Hawk is no stranger to challenging climbs

"I've also climbed Mt. Adams, and the South Sister, Middle Sister and North Sister. I've done Mt. St Helens a few times,” he said.

But this recent trek up Mount Hood in the popular Hogsback area was different.

After he and his friend reached the summit and took in the view, he planned to ski down while his friend snowboarded, but then something seemed off to him.

"I took two turns and realized it was not slushy at all. It was like a sheet of ice even though the sun was glistening on it. I tumbled and slipped and rolled like a rag doll hundreds and hundreds of feet,” he said.

Hawk blacked out on his way down and landed just feet away from a deep crevasse.

"I woke up to a fellow hiker looking down at me and I know in that moment, I had a peace and knew I was fine. I was given a second chance at life,” Hawk said

Left with a broken ankle, shattered wrist, injured shoulder, a few broken ribs and a severe ice rash the rescue began.

“It seems a dozen different times the plan changed and after they got me in a sled they were hoping to get the helicopter up sooner and the time got later and later,” he said.

10 hours later, Hawk was settled in a Portland hospital reflecting on one wild day on the mountain

"I will be forever grateful for the 30 plus men who risked their lives to bring me safely down the mountain,” Hawk told FOX 12. "I am a miracle, I sit here before you truly blessed and awarded a second chance at life.”

His wife, an ICU nurse, echoes that sentiment.

"He should be dead or much worse than he is and he's not. It defies logic and everything I know about everything,” she said.

In the end, he said he learned a life lesson out of all of this.

"If you're gonna climb Mt. Hood just be careful, it's there for our enjoyment, but you gotta respect that thing. Don't ever lose that respect for the mountain."

We asked Hawk if he plans to hit the mountain again. He said he thinks so, but it may be a while.

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