|Portland man falls to his death on Hood posted on 03/01/2018|
The stark beauty of Mount Hood, once again, unveiled its
The 11,240-foot peak claimed the life of Miha Sumi, 35, of
Portland, when the climber reportedly slipped on the ice and failed to
self-arrest, falling more than 700 feet from the Hogsback area on the south
face of the mountain.
Sumi’s injuries reportedly included bruising around the
ears, significant bleeding, loss of sensation and fading vital signs. Other
climbers reached Sumi – including his climbing partner Chatchay Thongthap who
made the initial 911 call – and administered CPR for approximately 1 1/2 hours.
An hour later an Oregon Army National Guard Blackhawk helicopter arrived and
hoisted the fallen climber into the helicopter and transported him to Legacy
Emanuel Medical Center where he was pronounced deceased upon arrival.
The Feb. 13 rescue mission was complicated when for several
hours officials could not determine how many people remained on the mountain
when the weather turned warm and conditions worsened. Despite the clear skies,
falling rocks and ice hampered rescue efforts while NOAA was forecasting
significant snowfall that night.
Rescuers were racing against the clock.
Besides Sumi and those assisting him, there were stranded
climbers sheltering in place on Hogsback awaiting the rescue teams. These
climbers reportedly had mid-level experience and were well-equipped with
appropriate climbing gear, including ice axes, crampons, helmets and other
Members of the RAT team, Portland Mountain Rescue and the
304th Air Force Rescue Squadron headed up the mountain, assisted by snowcats
transporting other rescuers to the top of the Palmer lift for deployment and
were prepped to transport recovered climbers back to Timberline Lodge.
Rope lines were put down to assist the other stranded
climbers to safely descend the mountain. One of the climbers, Kimberly
Anderson, 32, of Beaverton was unable to move. She was later secured in a sled
and was transported to safety.
Matt Zovrtink and Dan Parks were the other climbers that
“Our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Miha
Sumi,” Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts said in a press release. “Thanks
to all the search groups for their tremendous work on this complex
search-and-rescue mission. Every SAR mission is a team effort requiring help and
careful coordination from teams dedicated first-response partners and
The Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Portland Mountain
Rescue, American Medical Response Reach & Treat Team, 304th Air Rescue
Squad, Hood River Crag Rats, Navy personnel from Whidbey Island, Oregon
Emergency Management and Mountain Wave.
Mount Hood is the second most climbed mountain in the world.
By Larry Berteau/MT