The 16-year-old lost his footing due to icy conditions and sustained a leg injury

By Claudia Harmata
December 31, 2019 12:00 PM
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Teen Climber on Mt. Hood rescue
Credit: Clackamas Sheriff/Twitter

A 16-year-old boy is in stable condition and recovering from a leg injury after falling 500 feet while hiking in Oregon on Monday, authorities have confirmed.

Gurbaz Singh — a teenager from Vancouver, Canada — was climbing Mount Hood in Clackamas County with a group of friends when icy conditions caused him to lose his footing near Pearly Gates and fall 500 feet to Devil’s Kitchen, a big rock wall along the mountain, ABC affiliate KATU reported.

“He thought he was going to stop somewhere and he was trying to arrest the fall with his ax, but it just didn’t happen because he was rolling so fast that he couldn’t do it,” Rishamdeep Singh, Gurbaz’s father, told the outlet. “He’s OK with that; he’s not thinking much of it. He’s talking to family and friends. He’s in good spirits.”

Gurbaz sustained a leg injury during the fall and was taken to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland after he was rescued by Hood River Crag Rats, AMR’s Reach & Treat Team and the Portland Mountain Rescue teams.

The rescue effort took several hours due to Gurbaz’s elevation of about 10,500 feet. Police said the first rescuers reached him around 1 p.m. local time, four hours after they initially received the call.

“The first rescuers reached the injured climber at approximately 1 p.m. They began rendering care immediately, splinting the climber’s leg. After stabilizing the patient, the rescuers started making their way down with the patient,” the Clackamas Sheriff’s office wrote on Twitter.

Upon returning to the base of the mountain, Grubaz was transported to the Timberline Lodge where an ambulance waited to take him to the hospital, police said.

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The teen’s father thanked the rescue teams for saving his son, and revealed that despite the harrowing experience, his son was looking forward to recovering and making his way back to the mountain to try the route again.

“My family and my son want to thank everyone who helped rescue him, may the new year shower you with health and happiness. Because of you my son is in good spirits,” Rishamdeep told ABC. “This was to be his 98th summit. We will be back soon to finish the job. God Bless AMERICA!”