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John Andrews, 62, falls 200 feet into crater on Hogsback section of mountain

by:  CLACKAMAS COUNTY SHERIFFS OFFICE - A Clackamas County Sheriffs patrol car sits at Timberline Lodge Nov. 27 during the high-altitude rescue of Wilsonville climber John Andrews. A Wilsonville man was seriously injured Nov. 26 when he fell more than 200 feet into a crater while climbing Mount Hood during a recent stretch of clear weather.

John R. Andrews, 62, reportedly was climbing with partner Ron Fridell in an area of the mountain known as The Hogsback when he lost his footing and fell into the crater. Despite suffering injuries to his leg, ankle and face, Andrews remained conscious after the fall, while his partner, Ron Fridell, was able to use a cellphone to reach authorities.

Fridell told television crews afterward it was a route they had climbed many times before. This time, however, the slippery conditions caught up with the climbers.

“We were in the old chute near the top, and it was real icy,” Fridell said during a TV interview. “He just lost his perch on the ice and away he went.”

While Clackamas County Sheriff’s investigators initially stated that Andrews fell roughly 200 feet into the Hogsback, Fridell estimated his partner fell around four times that distance, or over 800 feet down the mountain.

Sheriff’s deputies along with Portland Mountain Rescue, American Medical Response and the Mountain Wave Search and Rescue team set up a command post at Timberline Lodge before launching a rescue mission.

Because rescuers were in constant contact with Fridell by phone they were able to reach Andrews without serious complication. He was given emergency first aid at the site of the fall before being loaded onto an Oregon Army National Guard HH-60M medical evacuation helicopter and flown to Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland.

Andrews was airlifted about four hours after he fell. An initial exam found the climber had also suffered broken ribs and a chest injury, authorities said.

Andrews was discharged from the hospital on Friday.

by: CLACKAMAS COUNTY SHERIFFS OFFICE - A Clackamas County Sheriffs Office responded to the scene where a Wilsonville climber fell.

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