Earlier today, on the slopes of Mt. Hood, Mark Cartier lost his life descending from his favorite mountain. My husband was a highly respected and accomplished climber and dedicated athlete. Starting at age 16, Mark became a serious climber.
His first love was rock climbing and we met because he was my rock climbing teacher. Mark helped establish numerous routes at Smith Rock and deftly reached the summit of mountains in Oregon, California, Alaska, Europe, the Himalayas, and many other places.
He always exemplified the description of preparedness and calculated risk. I can also say he was well-respected by the very people who helped recover him.
A past member of the Timberline Mountain Guides, Mark used Mt. Hood as his special playground. Mark dedicated his life to being a great father, husband, friend, mentor, and guide. He excelled at pursuing the enjoyment of the adventures he sought out and willingly chose. His greatest thrill in the past few years has been that of a proud spectator and supporter of his teenaged children as they became smart, wonderful young people and athletes.
Mark left this morning from Timberline Lodge after signing into the Mt. Climbers Registry.
He climbed the mountain as he has done hundreds of times before. The only thing different this time was that he didn’t call me saying he had made it down. Hearing of the accident today, I safely assumed he had stopped to assist someone in need. That was the type of climber Mark has always been.
Mark’s family, friends, co-workers and climbing partners will miss him. I ask the media to please respect my family and Mark’s extended family’s privacy. We need time to grieve and celebrate the incredible life that he shared with us.