SEASIDE, Ore. – Rescue crews had to climb down a dangerous cliff to reach an injured climber. When they got there, they discovered there was nothing they could do to save his life.
It happened Sunday afternoon on Saddle Mountain, at the top of a two-and-a-half-mile hiking trail off Highway 26 near Seaside.
An official on the scene told us the man, who was in his 20s, was part of a large group of hikers who had reached the summit – 3,283 feet above sea level. He reportedly went out on a ledge to take some pictures, lost his footing and fell more than 100 feet down a steep slope.
The coast guard could not reach him by helicopter Sunday afternoon.
Initial reports were that the victim was breathing around 5 p.m. Sunday, but just couldn't get out on his own. However, authorities said the hiker died shortly after a rescue climber was finally able to reach him.
This is the second fatal fall in two months tied to hikers trying to get the perfect shot. In March, a 22-year-old WSU student from Vancouver died at Silver Falls State Park, east of Salem, after reportedly walking away from his hiking group to take photographs.
"The view from the top of the mountain is one that cannot be described ... it must be experienced," reports the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department webpage about Saddle Mountain. However, the site warns, "as you climb ... remember to look up and out at the landscape before you. Also look down..."
Other reports of hikers who died near Saddle Mountain:
- September 2009: Body found in ravine near Seaside