Search-and-Rescue crews at Mt. Hood received a window in the weather Thursday allowing for the successful recovery of the body of climber Robert Dale Wiebe, 58, of Langley, B.C, who passed away Tuesday after falling on the north side of Mt. Hood.
Wiebe, an expert mountaineer, was part of a 5-person group who planned to climb Snow Dome, a 9,500 foot ridge between Coe and Eliot glaciers, and ski down from their ascent.Wiebe was seen skiing roughly 100 feet from his nearest fellow climber, when the weather began turn as storm clouds roll in to the area.
Hood River County Sheriff Joe Wampler said it was when the group reached the summit of Snow Dome, that they realized Wiebe had disappeared.
Experts believe Wiebe lost his navigation and ended up on an ice column resulting in his fatal fall nearly 700 feet down the mountain.
Two of Wiebe’s group-members came across Wiebe still alive at nearly 8,800 feet, and were able to arrange a life flight. Unfortunately, Wiebe would pass away before the helicopter could arrive.
Wiebe’s death marks the first climbing death to take place on the mountain in 2010. The most recent climbing death prior to this incident took place in December 2009 when a party of three climbers went missing, resulting in the death of one climber.