An unusually busy weekend on Mount Hood turned deadly as a climber fell 500 feet while descending the mountain Sunday morning.
The 63-year-old man, whose name has not yet been released, was traversing the popular Old Chute route with his son when he fell. Authorities received an emergency call from witnesses shortly after 9 am on May 30, according to the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office.
A search and rescue team spotted the victim around 10:30 am. Slowed by hazardous terrain, including toxic gases released from volcanic fumaroles, rescuers reached the climber and began descending with his body toward Timberline Lodge at 4:20 pm.
It’s the first climbing accident on Mount Hood since 2018. Last year, a teenager also fell approximately 500 feet, but managed to survive.
Officials warned that warm weather is causing unstable terrain and making climbing especially dangerous right now. In addition, Mount Hood is experiencing unusually high levels of visitor traffic: The parking lot for Timberline Lodge was full by 6 am on Sunday, according to the sheriff’s office.
Related: Where People Fall and Die on Mount Hood.