SAR crews respond after man falls to death on Mt. Hood; recovery operation underway

News Release from: Clackamas Co. Sheriff's Office

Posted: June 4, 2015, 3:53 p.m.

 

Photos:

Ward Milo Maxfield, 66 years old, of Paul, IDAt approximately 9:27 a.m. on Thursday, June 4, 2015, the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office received reports of a fallen climber on Mt Hood.

Initial reports were that the fall had occurred near the Hogsback area on the mountain, at about the 10,500 foot level.

The climber – Ward Milo Maxfield, 66 years old, of Paul, ID – slid several hundred feet and landed in an area called Hot Rocks. Hot Rocks is west of the Hogsback, and is an active fumarole zone that is not covered in snow.

There were three other people in the climbing party. Ward Maxfield was reportedly about 20 yards ahead of the group when he fell.

Witnesses to the fall called 911. Members of his climbing party -- including his 17-year-old grandson -- made their way to him. Members of the climbing party performed CPR on Mr. Maxfield for about 30 minutes until paramedics arrived on-scene and pronounced him dead.

Paramedics from American Medical Response's Reach and Treat (RAT) Team were on Mt Hood training, and traveled to the area after hearing of the fall. This area can normally take hours for a paramedic to get to -- but contact happened very quickly today, due to the RAT Team's presence on the mountain.

Members with AMR walked with the rest of the party down the mountain to Timberline Lodge.

Clackamas County is coordinating the recovery of Mr. Maxfield's body. Mountain Wave Emergency Communications is on-scene assisting with radio communication between the searchers and the coordinators, and members of AMR and Portland Mountain Rescue are working to bring his body down off of the mountain.

Ward Maxfield was described as an experienced hiker who ran marathons and was in good physical condition. The cause of the fall is still under investigation.

Photos of Ward Maxfield and the mountain are attached.

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Contact Info:
Sergeant Nathan Thompson
Office of Public Information
Clackamas County Sheriff's Office