GOVERNMENT CAMP, Ore. – Searchers on Tuesday recovered the body of a missing climber on Mount Hood.
Clackamas County deputies said 32-year-old Jared Townsley, of Tigard, was an experienced climber who had reached the summit of Mount Hood as many as 15 times, at least six of those on solo trips. His body was found below some cliffs close to the White River Canyon, around 9,200 feet.
The climbers who found Townsley were able to follow his tracks and said it appeared that he died after a severe fall.
A photo of sunrise over Mt. Hood taken by Townsley on Monday morning was later recovered and shared by family members on Facebook.
Townsley's family released a statement after learning of his death. They said he was married with two children and also had a brother and sister who all live nearby. The family asked for privacy while grieving their loss and thanked all the searchers.
The search began for Townsley after he failed to make it down the mountain as planned on Monday. He had left Timberline at midnight and was expected to return by 11 a.m. but his vehicle was still in the parking lot and he had not signed back into the climber’s registry.
Other climbers reported seeing Townsley descending around 8:30 a.m. Monday, at Crater Rock, near the top of the mountain but below the summit.
"The people who saw him (Townsley) made it back down," said Deputy Nate Thompson, of the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office. "There's concern about a possible fall, or he got off the main route and is lost."
Climbers said it was very windy and icy on the mountain Monday, making conditions very difficult, especially in a fall situation.
"Once you start sliding on ice, it's very hard to self-arrest," deputy Scott Meyers, with the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, told KGW.
A National Guard helicopter crew helped bring Townsley's remains off the mountain Tuesday.
Live: KGW Timberline webcam
Just a day earlier, a Portland woman fell 300 feet on Mt. Hood and suffered injuries to her ribs and leg. She had been on her way back down the mountain after reaching the summit and fell near where Townsley's body was later found.