Climber, 68, rescued from Mount Hood after whiteout

CLACKAMAS COUNTY, Ore. (KPTV) -- The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday rescued a lost climber off Mount Hood.

The climber, a 68-year-old man, left for a climb this morning and got caught in whiteout conditions and started to panic, a sheriff’s office spokesperson says.

Ed Lipscomb called for help around 1 p.m. just above Zigzag Canyon on the southwest side of the mountain below the usual climbing hazard areas. The sheriff’s office says Lipscomb is an experienced hiker, is not injured, was dressed for current weather conditions and had some food and water.

Search and rescue crews Tuesday afternoon set up a staging area at Timberline Lodge as they attempted to reach the climber and get him off the mountain safely.

"There was a little bit emergency to get there before it got dark," Portland Mountain Rescue crew member Scott Norton said.

A group of searchers climbed the mountain in a SnowCat before skiing over to the lost climber near Palmer Glacier.

Lipscomb was taken down the mountain in the SnowCat and is in good condition, the sheriff's office says.

"I’ve had a few close calls but I won’t forget this snowcat ride down here I mean thats living the life," Lipscomb said.

Lipscomb was smiling as he exited the vehicle and told FOX 12 he's climbed Mt. Hood more than 100 times, but found himself in uncharted territory Tuesday.

"Every now and then, you know, something happens you don't expect," Lipscomb said. "I didn't have any choice. I had to call."

"I wanna just get home and probably hit the couch I’m really good at hitting the couch," he added.

Lipscomb said Tuesday's rescue isn't going to stop him from climbing Mt. Hood again. He hopes to be back out on the mountain next week if conditions are right.

Crews say low visibility on Tuesday was a challenge.

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