Dog and Beacon Save Climbers on Mount Hood

by Mick Ryan Feb/2007
This news story has been read 980 times

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Rescuers on Mount Hood, Oregon
Mount Hood (11,239ft...3,429 meters) in the Pacific Northwest of the USA (the Cascade Range, Oregon) is a notorious mountain, technically straightforward but hammered by bad winter weather that can change in an hour from clear blue skys to white-out and freezing conditions. Over 100 climbers have died on Mount Hood since the 1970's, the latest last December. Kelly James was found dead of hypothermia in a snow cave, the bodies of his companions, Brian Hall and Jerry Cooke have not been recovered.

In the last few days another group of climbers got into trouble after a fall. But due to their cell phones, Global Positioning System gear, beacons and a dog called Velvet, Kate Hanlon, Matty Bryant and a third climber were successfully rescued on Monday after a 500ft fall. Other members of their group immediately made a distress call to the mountain rescue services using mobile phones but the trio still had to spend a very cold night on the mountain when a fierce storm blew in. "The dog probably saved their lives" by lying across them during the cold night, said Erik Brom, a member of the Portland Mountain Rescue team. The rescue of the trio was aided by the activation of a radio transmitter they carried with them.

More details at the CBS news site

UPDATE: In the associated thread to this news item Prana dug out a related news item at CNN.com. "Several Oregon lawmakers want to require climbers to wear electronic locators above 10,000 feet on Mount Hood" You can read the report here at CNN.com.

Could similar legislation or recommendations be introduced in the Scottish mountains in winter especially in the light of the recent tragic deaths in the Cairngorms?

Forums ( Read More... | 14 comments, 20 Feb 2007 )
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