Authorities in Oregon say an experienced climber died Thursday morning after falling 1,000 feet while trying to descend Mount Hood.
The man, Mark Cartier of Portland, Ore., was described as an extremely experienced mountaineer and rock climber who considered Mount Hood his “special playground.”
“He climbed the mountain as he had hundreds of times before,” Deb Weekley, the wife of 56-year-old Cartier, told OregonLive. “The only thing different this time was that he didn’t call me saying he had made it down.”
According to KMTR, Mark was among 15 climbers who had signed up at a local lodge to take part in an overnight solo-climb Wednesday on Oregon’s Mount Hood.
Although inexperienced climbers are advised not to climb solo, those who knew him said Cartier had the skills and conditioning to do it.
“It’s a personal choice,” said rescue volunteer Rocky Henderson, who had crossed paths with Cartier many times before and was with the group that helped extricate his body. “Solo climbing is dangerous, but the attraction is that I’m responsible for my life and I make that conscious choice. It takes more effort.”
After learning of Cartier’s fatal fall at 5am on Thursday, members of the Portland Mountain Rescue reached his body by 8am and began their decent down the mountain a few hours later.
KIMATV reports the groups used anchors and a 300-foot rope to transport the body down Mount Hood’s steep face.
Loved ones were brought to view the body and meet with search and rescue volunteers.
According to Wikipedia, more than 130 people have died climbing Mount Hood since records have been kept (May 2002).
In 2012, four people — including Cartier — have died on the Mountain.
In March, snowboarder James Malcarne, 37, died of a head injury at Skibowl. In February, climber Jared Townsley, 32, died in the White River Canyon. In January, snowboarder Taylur DeWolf, 17, was killed at Skibowl when she hit a tree.
KIMATV has more on Mark Cartier tragic fall from Mount Hood in the video below: