Esteemed climber dies in Mt. Hood fall

Esteemed climber dies in Mt. Hood fall

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by KGW.com Staff

kgw.com

Posted on June 14, 2012 at 6:56 AM

Updated Friday, Jun 15 at 2:08 PM

TIMBERLINE LODGE -- Crews on Mount Hood recovered the body of a solo climber who fell about 1,000 feet Thursday at the Hogsback portion of the mountain.

The climber was identified as 56-year-old Mark Cartier, who was reportedly descending the mountain when he fell near Crater Rock.

Cartier is a well-known and experienced climber in the climbing community, according to a KGW source. He has worked at Columbia Sportswear as a director in footwear development  and at Nike as a director in global football products.

His family said he had done many climbs around the world. Some in the recovery crew described him as someone they would not expect such an accident to happen to, sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Adam Phillips said.

He had scouted routes at Smith Rock in Central Oregon and summited peaks in California, Alaska, Europe and the Himalayas.

His wife said in a statement Mt. Hood was his favorite mountain, "his special playgound," after learning to climb at age 16. Deb Weekly said the only thing different in this climb was that he did not call her to say he had made it down. More: Read family statement

"We need time to grieve and celebrate the incredible life he shared with us," she said.

"The Columbia family is stunned and saddened by the news of Mark's passing," CEO Tim Boyle said. "Mark was passionate about everything he did. He was an experienced outdoorsman and a loving family man. Our thoughts are with his wife, two children and other family and friends during this difficult time."

Just before 1 p.m., volunteers from the AMR RAT Team and Portland Mountain Rescue began carrying the body to meet a snow cat at the Palmer ski lift. From there they transported the body down the mountain.

Dispatchers received a phone call shortly after 5 a.m. from a climber below another group who saw the man fall, said Sgt. Brian O'Neil of the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office.

Video: Expert describes Mt. Hood rescues of climbers

About 100 people had registered to climb Mount Hood Thursday, O'Neil said.

KGW meteorologist Nick Allard reported a 5:30 a.m. temperature of 42 degrees at Timberline Lodge, with clear skies and calm winds. The freezing level was about 10,000 feet, he said.

Surface conditions were dicey at 10,000 feet, with the temperature just at freezing, Phillips said.

Zach Snow, of Ashland, had reached the Hogsback and heard the news from two other climbers that someone had taken a fall. Word spread quickly and rattled many of the climbers on the mountain, he told KGW.

Unnerved by the events, Snow said he turned back before reaching the summit. Others made the same decision, he said

Raw Sky8: Climbers summit Hood Thursday morning

The Hogsback is a portion of the climb close to the summit on a route favored by most climbers.

Steve Rollins of Portland Mountain Rescue said the man appeared to be where a natural fall line would take him from a fall on the Hogsback, in this case near what he called the Headwall and Hot Rocks.

The climbing party should always be ready to provide extended first aid if a climber survives a fall, he said. Rescuers often come from Portland, which is about an hour-long drive, followed by 30 minutes of planning at Timberline Lodge, an hour trip by snow cat, then anywhere from another 30 to 60 minutes to climb to the accident scene.

Timeline: Mt. Hood climbing fatalities

KGW Reporters Tim Gordon and Collette Wieland contributed to this report

 

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