A 32-year-old mountain climber died after falling into a crevasse on 10,497-foot Mt. Jefferson in Oregon on Sunday.
Thomas Fountain and his wife, Alison, 29, were climbing Jefferson, Oregon’s 2nd highest peak, on Sunday when the Thomas fell and slid 500-feet into a crevasse at 8,800-feet in very challenging terrain.
Allison notified the authorities via text messages and was able to stay in communication with authorities all night on Sunday. Allison spent the frigid night out next to the crevasse where her husband had fallen.
Five rescue climbers from the Corvallis Mountain Rescue Unit were dropped off via helicopter about 2,000-feet below where Thomas fell on Sunday night. Ten more rescue climbers were flown in to help with the rescue just before dawn on Monday.
The rescue climbers reached Thomas in the crevasse at 9am on Monday morning. Thomas had unfortunately already died from his injuries. Thomas was declared dead at 9:21am on Monday morning. Allison was air lifted off the mountain in good condition.
Severe weather prohibited the removal of Thomas’ body until Tuesday.
The Fountains are known as avid climbers and had climbed many mountains together including Mt. Jefferson.
The couple is reported to have been climbing Jefferson via the Jefferson Park Glacier route. The route is described as:
“a more varied and alpine route than is found on most volcanoes … that can be extremely challenging (with) steep narrow ice or rock climbing on the narrow ridge above the headwall.” – summitpost.com
We don’t currently know if the Fountains had glacier travel & crevasse rescue equipment or knowledge. If you are planning to travel in glaciated terrain, you must have the right gear and the right knowledge. Learn more about glacier travel & crevasse rescue here: Glacier Travel & Crevasse Rescue
Alison is a flight nurse originally from Hayward, California. Thomas was a buyer from Keizer. The couple was living in nearby Keizer, Oregon, just west of Mt. Jefferson. The couple was married in 2013.