Two 19-year-old friends fell to their death while trying to climb Mount Hood in Oregon. Emma Place and Emily Lang fell 150 feet off the Pacific Trail Cliff on Saturday.
Emily Lang and Emma Place were found lifeless at the base of a waterfall approximately six miles from the Mount Hood area Timberline Lodge. Portland Mountain Rescue officials believe the two 19-year-old friends may have lost their footing on the slippery rocks above the waterfall and fell.
Portland Mountain Rescue team leader Steve Rollins deemed the Mount Hood tragedy a “freak accident” when speaking to OregonLive reporters. Law enforcement officers are still investigating the deadly falls taken by the two young women.
Hikers traversing the Pacific Trail Cliff discovered the bodies of the two teenage friends and called 911 for help. Clackamas County Sheriff’s Sergeant Brian Jensen said investigators have not yet been able to find anyone who may have witnessed the fatal falls of Emily Lang and Emma Place, KOIN reports.
Sergeant Jensen also said there is no evidence to indicate either of the teenagers intentionally jumped or were pushed off the Pacific Trail Cliff. The cellphones belonging to the Lang and Place have been recovered, but so far, police investigators have not been able to garner any information from the devices.
— PDX News Now (@pdxnewsnow) August 15, 2017
Because the 19-year-old friends fell off the trail, investigators have also not been able to determine exactly where the pair were when they lost their footing. Both Place and Lang were pronounced dead at the scene by Portland Mountain Rescue team members on Saturday evening.
The Clackamas County law enforcement officers said the six-mile hike to the Timberline Lodge traverses difficult terrain and has multiple switchbacks, twists, and turns. Mountain Wave Search and Rescue volunteer Chris Schloe believes Lang and Place had to go down into the waterfall area to continue along their hike. Schloe told KATU reporters the ravines and canyons around Mount Hood make communications extremely difficult.
Two College Girls Die While Climbing Mount Hood https://t.co/vVTAlDUUjR
— Xoobug Memes???? (@xoogarden) August 15, 2017
Both Emma Place and Emily Lang graduated from St. Mary’s Academy in Portland in 2016. Both of the young women had just finished their first year of college. Place attended Gonzaga University in Spokane, and Lang was attending classes at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington.
Last week, mountain rescue crews expanded their search and rescue efforts for David O’Sullivan, an Irish hiker who was last spotted along the Pacific Crest Trail in April. Two other people have also died this year while climbing or skiing near Mount Hood.
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