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A rescue team scrambled up Mount Hood in Oregon on Thursday to reach a badly injured climber left stranded but alive after he fell hundreds of feet while trying to scale the peak alone, authorities said.
Gary Morgan, 52, is reported to have suffered a serious injury to his leg or hip, and secondary injuries to other parts of his body, the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office said in a statement. It added that the rescue operation could take several hours.
"They will assess and stabilize the patient for transport," sheriff's Sergeant Adam Phillips said in an interview aired on local television station KGW.
Phillips said authorities were first alerted to the accident by a 911 call at about 9:30 a.m. local time, and that a trained rescue expert who happened to be climbing the mountain reached Morgan first.
Personnel from two mountain rescue groups arrived at the site later and were helping the injured climber, the department said. It said Morgan would be carried down the mountain on a litter to a point where a snow cat vehicle can pick him up and take him the rest of the way down.
The sun shone Thursday on the 11,249-foot peak, the highest in Oregon. It is clearly visible in Portland, about 60 miles away. An estimated 8,000 to 10,000 people from around the world attempt to scale the mountain each year.
Just last week, 56 year-old Mark Cartier, an experienced climber, died in a 1,000-foot fall in the same area on Mount Hood.