Facebook Helps Rescue Climber on Mount Hood
Mid-blizzard status update gave search-and-rescue his coordinates
A man’s Facebook status might have saved his life on Oregon’s highest peak.
When Jeff Kish, an experienced climber, got stuck in a sudden storm on Mount Hood during a solo summit attempt, he updated his status from his iPhone:
“You’re gonna hear about it in the news anyway, may as well spill it myself,” he wrote. “Got stuck in a storm on the summit of mt. Hood. Stuck on cliffs over 10,000′ in a white out. Called 911 after several hours of trying to self rescue. Search and rescue has been notified. Wish me luck!”
Half an hour later, he posted a screenshot with his GPS coordinates along with the message: “Ok guys, I have no idea where I am, other than right on the edge of some gnarly cliff. Too far east or west?” The coordinates showed Kish was stranded at 10,064 feet.
A search and rescue team stayed in touch with Kish on the phone while they headed toward his GPS coordinates despite heavy snow and 50 mph winds. When the team arrived, they were at the base of a cliff and still couldn’t find Kish. In a brief lull in the snow storm, they looked up and saw Kish on top of the cliff. They reached him at 11:45 p.m.
"But for him having a cellphone, it's highly improbable that we would have found him in the dark last night," Portland Mountain Rescue spokesman Mark Morford told The Oregonian.