GOVERNMENT CAMP, Ore. — Large chunks of falling ice struck a Portland woman climbing Mount Hood and sent her 400 feet to her death on Wednesday, authorities said.
Brooke Colvin and her husband, Thad Stavn, were at about 10,000 feet on the 11,239-foot mountain when the accident occurred, said Clackamas County sheriff’s Detective Jim Strovink.
Strovink said Stavn saw his 31-year-old wife hit by falling ice and thrown down the mountain. Strovink said Stavn was able to get to her, but she died instantly. Rescuers were trying to recover the body.
Stavn was able to get back down to Timberline Lodge from the area of the accident, known as the Pearly Gates.
An Oregon Army National Guard Blackhawk helicopter was called to airlift the pair off the mountain, authorities said, but was recalled after one climber was reported dead and the other had climbed down on his own.
Strovink said warm weather has created treacherous climbing conditions on Oregon’s highest mountain by making snow unstable and loosening boulder-size chunks of ice.
The fall was at the same spot as an accident Saturday that also required a rescue.
Mount Hood, about an hour’s drive east of Portland, is one of the more frequently climbed glacier-covered peaks in the United States.
In 25 years it has claimed at least 36 lives, including three who attempted the more dangerous north face in December 2006.
Colvin and Stavn met in Jackson, Wyo., according to their wedding Web site. Colvin was living with relatives and Stavn was visiting friends after a climbing trip.
They were married Sept. 16, 2007, in South Lake Tahoe, Calif.
Stavn’s father, Rockie Stavn of Bismarck, N.D., told The Oregonian that the pair moved to Portland shortly before they were married.
“They always were outdoors,” Rockie Stavn said. “And Brooke? She was wonderful.”