Rescuers have encountered severe weather conditions that have prevented the recovery of Tommy Fountain. Because of conditions rescuers are climbing down to lower elevations where they can be air lifted off of the mountain by helicopter safely.
Tomorrow searchers will reassess and determine when Mr. Fountain can be safely recovered. Unless an issue arises with the extraction of our rescuers the Sheriff's Office does not anticipate any further releases of information.
Alison Fountain has been recovered and is now reunited with family. The Air Guard helicopter is refueling and weather permitting will return for Tommy Fountain as well as the fifteen additional rescuers.
Rescuers have arrived on scene with the injured climber. Sadly Tommy Fountain died as a result of his fall. Alison Fountain is in good condition, crews are now working to bring both husband and wife down from the mountain.
Rescuers are still some 400 vertical feet from the injured climber. Additional climbers are now being flown into to assist with the ongoing rescue. To learn more about the climbing teams please check out their website at www.corvallismountainrescue.org & www.eugenemountainrescue.org Additional videos from this morning's air operations are available at the below links.
Arriving media please call the PIO cell for parking instructions. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTaEAmAljns
Ten additional mountain rescue climbers are on scene and will be flown in to assist in the rescue efforts sometime around 7:30 a.m. The first set of climbers have reached 7500 feet but are traveling slower than expected due to the difficult terrain. Rescuers now estimate they will not reach the injured climbers until sometime around 8:00 a.m.
Five rescue climbers from the Corvallis Mountain Rescue Team have been delivered roughly 2000 feet below the injured climber. Rescuers have estimated it will take approximately several hours to reach the injured climbers from where they were inserted.
Below are several links to videos taken of the rescue climbers briefing, loading into the helicopter and the helicopter taking off. We will continue to update the release as information becomes available. https://youtu.be/LXZ03HimfZM https://youtu.be/Xupnx1MM3so https://youtu.be/HtXJTqEiLec https://youtu.be/-05hq2TKWhc https://youtu.be/0Tln0kIBRoU
We can confirm that the two climbers stuck on Mt. Jefferson are Thomas Fountain, age 32 and Alison Fountain, age 29 both of Oregon. Searchers do know the location of both climbers and describe the terrain as difficult.
Searchers believe that Mr. Fountain has fallen into a crevasse and is injured. Thankfully Ms. Fountain is able to communicate with searchers via text message. Searchers with the Linn County Sheriff's Office, Corvallis Mt. Rescue, Eugene Mt. Rescue, Marion County Jeep Patrol and Marion County SAR COM Team are all arriving on scene.
Once on scene a Coast Guard helicopter out of Astoria will be arriving and flying one of the mountain rescue teams into the climbers. PIO is preparing to head to the command post which is located at the Detroit City Hall. Responding media should stage in the City Hall parking lot, please do not interfere with any of the SAR operations. PIO estimated time of arrival is approximately 1 to 1 ?1/2 hours.
Linn and Marion County Deputies are currently organizing a search for two hikers on Mt. Jefferson. Preliminary information obtained by searchers is that two climbers were climbing Mt. Jefferson when one became injured.
Searchers have found the climbers vehicle at a trail head in Marion County. It is still very early in the search and very few details are available at this time. This release will be updated as soon as more facts become available.
Primary PIO Phone: 503. 584. MCSO (6276)
Public Information Officer Lt. Chris Baldridge
Cell Phone: 503.991.6389
On Twitter: @MCSOInTheKnow