Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Mount Hood climbers safe

You may have heard/read earlier that two climbers were missing on Mount Hood (11,239 feet), although they had talked to rescuers via a cell phone.

They're down and safe now, after spending a night in a snow cave.

Justin Votos, 27, and Matthew Pitts, 28, said they'd summited twice before, and thought they had a good climbing window but got caught in whiteout conditions at about 10,000 feet.

They started hiking down toward Timberline Lodge, but missed it and said they built the cave at about 5,000 feet.

Walking down today they found a geocache with GPS gear that allowed them to report their location to rescuers via cell phone. They were near Enid Lake and less than a mile from U.S. 26.

Great news for those two, and a reminder to the rest of us to be prepared for the worst.

1 comment:

AndyW said...

We were scratching our heads about this, but after reading the story in the Oregonian, it's clear that the men found a bottle containing their location's GPS coordinates. By a stroke of luck, search and rescue called their cell phone - which they had assumed to be dead - just as they found the cache.

Reading the story, it appears the men were smarter than a lot of folks are in that situation, but less prepared to be on the mountain than you would expect (no shovel, really?).

Here's the link: