Helicopter teeters on 11,000-foot mountain rescuing near-suicide

Climber in Oregon planned to end his life on state's highest peak, but changes his mind and calls for help.

Mordechai Sones,


The Sun reported on a remarkable maneuver performed by a helicopter pilot normally only used during combat missions in Afghanistan to rescue a climber in Oregon who planned to end his life on the state's highest peak, but then changed his mind and called for help.

Mount Hood is the tallest mountain in the state with an elevation of 11,249 ft. It is a stratovolcano that is considered active and is likely to erupt in the future.

The special “pinnacle landing” maneuver involved balancing the rear end of a CH-47 Chinook helicopter on the side of Mount Hood.

Mount Hood over Trillium Lake

When the rescue mission began Thursday afternoon, the mountain was snowy and conditions were described as “treacherous”, the Sun reported.

Phil Cole was part of the 304th Rescue Squadron that saved the 27-year-old climber the following morning. He said: “This time of day, the mountain just starts to fall apart. Everything is melting, ice and rock are coming off the mountain.”

Rescuers had to crawl out on all fours while the tandem rotors were still spinning, to bring the 27-year-old Texan climber back to safety.

They initially were called to the scene at 2:30 p.m. Thursday after the climber called to say he was planning to end his life.

Friday morning the rescue team found him and flew him to safety, where he was brought to hospital by ambulance.

Stars over Mt. Hood
Portland, Mt. Hood
Apple orchards and Mount Hood

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