Two Rescued On Mt. Hood

Friday evening, a friend of a climber called the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office to report the person was lost.

31-year-old Nik Larson had summited the mountain, but on the way down got disoriented in whiteout conditions.

His cell phone had 2% power.

The Clackamas County Sheriff's office used the cell signal to narrow his location.

Portland Mountain Rescue, Hood River Crag Rats and Mountain Wave were called to help.

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

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 5:00 a.m. to assist 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. (Military rescue choppers also currently undergo extensive decontamination after each deployment, and there are over 200 climbers on mountain Saturday, putting potential additional pressure on SAR resources.

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

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

About 30 rescuers participated in the operation.

Second Saturday Rescue

Saturday afternoon, a second climber got injured.

The call came in from her climbing partner to report the injured climber, 23-year-old Dani Rudinsky, of Colorado, had injured her ankle when she was caught in a small avalanche. They were on the west side of Mt Hood near Yocum Ridge below the Reid Headwall.

Rudinsky was reported to be an experienced climber and was prepared with a device called “inReach”. She was able to send a distress call with the device and communicate. Search and rescue coordinators utilize this information to better determine where the subject is and what is needed for a rescue.

The SAR coordinators requested assistance from Portland Mountain Rescue, Hood River Crag Rats, Mt Wave Search and Rescue, Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue, American Medical Response Reach and Treat, and search and rescue coordinators from the Hood River County Sheriff’s Office.

The location this climber was located required a lot of manpower for the rescue. There were 26 rescuers involved in this mission.

The first team to reach the injured climber was comprised of AMR Reach and Treat along with Portland Mountain Rescue. They were followed by two more teams including additional Hood River Crag Rats and Portland Mountain Rescue.

One group made sure Rudinsky was stable and packed her into a Sked litter. A second group set up a rope line to pull her up to the south side of Illumination Saddle which is 9,200’ elevation. From that point teams skied down with her to Timberline Lodge. Rudinsky will seek her own medical attention if needed.

Rescue crews reached Timberline Lodge at 9:30 p.m. which meant search teams were actively working on the mountain for nearly 23 hours straight to begin the Memorial Day Weekend.

There is a high avalanche danger on Mt Hood right now due to a recent accumulation of 10 inches of snow along with warming temperatures.

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