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Climber who fell 1,000 feet to death from Mount Hood is ID'd

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 06:22 a.m. HST, May 14, 2014

PORTLAND, Ore. >> A climber from New Jersey died Tuesday after falling about 1,000 feet from the top of Oregon's tallest peak, officials said.

Robert Cormier, 57, of Jersey City, ascended Mount Hood's south side with two others but continued alone when one of his companions suffered a leg cramp, Hood River County sheriff's spokesman Pete Hughes said.

Cormier appeared to reach the summit before he fell near Eliot Glacier at the volcanic peak 50 miles east of Portland.

A helicopter photographed the climber and his position but saw "no signs of life," Hughes said. The office later confirmed his death.

Hughes says rescuers will wait until next week to recover Cormier, when colder temperatures would afford them more stability on the rocks and ice.

Spring is the prime season for climbing Mount Hood because the weather is better but not so warm that the ice melts and rocks fall more readily. The peak is notorious for loose rocks in warm weather.

Conditions were warm in the area on Monday and Tuesday, with a reported temperature of 47 degrees Tuesday morning on the summit.

"Climbers up there reported the snow was getting warm, and they wanted to get down and get off," Hughes said.

Thousands of people climb the 11,240-foot peak each year.

The most recent death at Mount Hood was in August. A Polish military officer visiting the United States for training with a drone manufacturer went to the summit on a day off. The novice climber fell about 1,000 feet.

The most fatalities in one accident were seven students from Oregon Episcopal School and two adults who died after they dug a snow cave during a sudden storm in May 1986.

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cojef wrote:
Another episode where rescue is needed at taxpayers' expense.
on May 13,2014 | 11:16AM
ryan02 wrote:
The guy's dead, so I don't think it's a "rescue" anymore. If the family wants the body recovered, then maybe they can pay for that service?
on May 13,2014 | 11:23AM
Ronin006 wrote:
Yes, and wait until the snow melts so that members of the recovery team do not become fatalities.
on May 13,2014 | 02:43PM
Morimoto wrote:
Hopefully they make the family pay for the recovery. If not just leave the body up there.
on May 14,2014 | 09:41AM
noheawilli wrote:
Sad to see another Brother or Sister go down. Climbing, hiking and mountaineering puts you in the most beautiful places on this earth. Sadly there are risks. I would add, its a good thing our dlnr doesn't have jurisdiction over places like Mt Hood, the Cascades or Yosemite. That unelected group is out of control.
on May 13,2014 | 02:20PM
patk wrote:
This type of death is not a story. This is their choice to put their own lives at risk. The main story here is that they should be made to pay for any rescue, cleanup and recovery costs.
on May 13,2014 | 09:40PM
Morimoto wrote:
Exactly, you take risks, you suffer the consequences. That includes paying for any rescue or recovery effort.
on May 14,2014 | 09:42AM
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