CLACKAMAS, Ore. — An Oregon police officer says a British Columbian teenager who survived a 150-metre fall near the top of Mount Hood was climbing a technical section of the mountain at the time.
Sgt. Marcus Mendoza of the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office says search and rescue crews worked for hours to rescue a 16-year-old from Surrey, B.C., when he slid down the mountain southwest of Portland on Monday.
Mount Hood is a major destination for mountaineers and the teen, identified by media and a fundraising page as Gurbaz Singh, fell from a section of the mountain known as the Pearly Gates down to the Devil’s Kitchen.
Mendoza describes the Pearly Gates as a “highly technical” icy chute that is the last major section of the climb before reaching the summit.
He says the teen broke his leg and damaged his helmet as he fell but avoided other major injuries, despite risks posed by the gear he carried, including spiked crampons and an ice axe.
The teen was taken to a nearby lodge where an ambulance was waiting, then went to hospital in Portland.
“The co-ordinators were surprised that his only major injury was that broken leg. He is very lucky to survive that fall,” Mendoza says.
“There are a lot of hazards, this isn’t like sledding down a hill.”
The GoFundMe page, which is raising money to help the family, says Singh suffered a fractured femur and underwent surgery on Dec. 31. Singh could not be reached for comment but the page says he is an experienced mountaineer who has climbed close to 100 peaks.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 2, 2020.
The Canadian Press