Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Mt. Hood Climber Found Dead, Two Days After Local Guide Leads Group to Summit

TMG takes two to the top in good weather, hours before the Tigard man's fatal fall.

Posted By on Tue, Feb 7, 2012 at 7:09 PM

click to enlarge mthood.wright.jpg

This morning, authorities found the body of a climber who went missing on Mt. Hood early Monday morning.

Jared Townsley of Tigard was found dead after having fallen into White River Canyon (near the 9,000-foot level) while descending the mountain.

Though it was reportedly very icy, conditions were otherwise ideal for a summit bid, said Cliff Agocs, a guide who works for the Bend based Timberline Mountain Guides. Agocs led a small group to the summit of Mt. Hood early Sunday morning. They safely returned to Timberline lodge later in the day, but never ran across Townsley, 32.

"The weather was perfect," Agocs said, noting that the wind was minimal and skies were clear.

Agocs did say that his team met another group who reported that a woman climber was injured and rescued on Sunday after sliding 300 feet near Crater Rock.

Agocs, an experienced guide, said he purposely led his clients down a more circuitous route while descending, in an attempt to bypass the iciest sections.

"The slopes were pretty icy if you were to just B-line it back," Agocs said.

Just another unfortunate reminder that guides do serve a valuable purpose, even for the "experienced climber." The Oregonian reports that Townsley, who was climbing alone, had summited Mt. Hood at least a dozen times, according to his father, Gregg Townsley.

"I better call my mom, she'll be worried sick," said Agocs, originally from Philadelphia and now based out of Eugene.


(photo credit: Chris J. Wright)



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