One climber rescued, one dead after fall on Mt. Hood

Published: Mar. 7, 2022 at 7:24 PM PST
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MT. HOOD, Ore. (KPTV) - One climber was injured and another died after falling on Mount Hood on Sunday.

Shortly after 5 p.m. the two climbers from Washington fell 200 feet near the top of the Leuthold Couloir, a long steep chute on the west side of Mt. Hood. Both climbers were hurt during the fall. One of the injured climbers was able to call 911 and also used a Garmin inReach device to notify an emergency contact.

Rescuers faced deep snow and other treacherous conditions, including avalanche conditions, with winds blowing between 50-70 mph.

By 11:40 p.m. on March 6, the first climbing team made it to within 700 feet below the two climbers, but were unable to reach them due to the poor climbing conditions. Rescuers were then forced to turn back due to heightened avalanche danger in the area. Some stayed on the mountain overnight.

OEM also advised they would be unable to deploy a military helicopter to assist with the rescue that night, due to altitude and weather conditions.

On Monday two rescue teams headed up to the top of Palmer Lift in a second attempt to reach the fallen climbers.

Although the winds continued, improved visibility at daylight allowed a third team of rescuers to reach the two subjects by summitting the mountain and descending the west side to the climbers’ position.

Rescuers say they were unable to get vital signs from 34-year-old Pradnya Mohite. Lei Wang, 50, was in critical condition and the decision was made to evacuate that person.

Due to the severe avalanche hazard and poor conditions, rescuers made the tough decision to leave Mohite on the mountain, with plans to mount a recovery mission when conditions improve.

Wang arrived at Timberline at 6:50 p.m. and was transported by AMR to an area hospital for treatment.

Four teams (32 rescuers) were involved in Monday’s rescue effort, with numerous other volunteers providing support.