Sunriver man rescued on Mt. Hood after getting lost in whiteout


A Sunriver man was rescued early Saturday morning after getting lost in whiteout conditions on Mt. Hood, according to the Clackamas Co. Sheriff’s Office.

Clackamas County Search and Rescue Coordinators were notified by a friend of the lost climber just after 7:30 p.m. Friday.

A short time later, the lost climber, 31-year-old Nikolas David Larson called 911 and spoke with dispatch.

Larson told dispatchers he had summited Mt. Hood earlier in the day, but was now lost in whiteout conditions and needed help.

He had a few protein bars, but no water. Nick had been communicating with friends but told dispatch his cell-phone battery was now at 2%, authorities said.

SAR Coordinators called out Portland Mountain Rescue, the Hood River Crag Rats, and Mountain Wave to assist.

The first team of searchers assembled and left from Timberline Lodge at about 11 p.m Friday night via snowcat.

When they reached the top of the Palmer Lift, they set off on foot to find Larson.

The rescue team reached Larson around 2 a.m. Saturday morning at 6,200 feet on the west side of Mt. Hood, just above Split Rock (just south of Paradise Park).

Rescuers found Larson to be hypothermic.

Rescuers began to administer first aid and prepared Larson to be moved. A second mountain rescue team entered the field at 5 a.m. to help with this rescue.

Initially, a helicopter was requested from the Oregon Army National Guard through the Oregon Office of Emergency Management, but it was determined the helicopter would not be used — rescuers on scene had needed medical expertise.

American Medical Response’s Reach and Treat team and Pacific Northwest Search and Rescue were called in to assist with the evacuation.

Larson was taken down by rescuers to Kiwanis Camp Road near Government Camp. He was taken to an area hospital by American Medical Response.

All told, about 30 rescuers participated in this operation, as well as Sheriff’s Office detectives, who helped determine the subject’s location by analyzing phone data.

Authorities said there were more than 200 climbers on the mountain Friday into Saturday.


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