On Wednesday, June 2, authorities announced that a man involved in a deadly climbing accident on Mt. Hood, Oregon, has been identified.
Search & rescue teams “immediately responded” to several calls from witnesses who had seen the man fall while at an elevation of around 10,500 feet. Mt. Hood Ski Patrol personnel also assisted in the rescue.
64-year-old Patrick Michael Stretch of Spokane, Washington, was climbing Mt. Hood with his son when the accident occurred. The two were ascending via the Old Chute route on the south side of the 11,250′ peak. The Old Chute route is by far the most popular route up the volcano.
Stretch fell approximately 500 feet at an elevation of 10,500′. His exact cause of death has not been announced.
The search party reached Stretch at around 10:30 a.m. but found him dead by the time they could locate and reach him.
The team retrieved the body and safely made it back to the base of Timberline Ski Area at around 4:30 p.m.
Shortly after Stretch’s death, Portland Mountain Rescue issued a joint statement with the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office:
“Warm weather at this time of year can create very unstable conditions on this area of Mt. Hood, including falling ice. The addition of many climbers of varying skill levels can add additional hazards. Exercise caution while climbing Mt. Hood.”