Climber who fell, died on Mt. Hood identified

Photo of Miha Sumi courtesy the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office.jpg

Officials have identified the man who died after falling on Mount Hood Tuesday morning as 35-year-old Portland resident Miha Sumi.

He was in the Hogsback area around 10:30 a.m. with a group of other climbers when he fell about 700 to 1,000 feet.

Sumi's friends say he was an outdoor enthusiast and had climbed Mount Hood before.

"He will be remembered as a dear friend, who was almost never in a bad mood, always smiling in trying to get us together to socialize," said Andrej Laurencic, Sumi's longtime friend. "We will miss his positive energy and his good heart."

Laurencic says Sumi had always dreamed of getting a job in the United States. Five years ago that became a reality, and despite his zest for nature, friends say Sumi didn't know about all the climbing, skiing, and hiking possibilities until he moved to Oregon.

"Like most Slovenes, he had climbing in blood," said Romeo Gomizelj, Sumi's friend from his native Slovenia.

A member of Sumi's climbing group called 9-1-1 while a separate climber rushed to Sumi's side and started CPR. They continued life-saving efforts until he was airlifted from the mountain by the Oregon Army National Guard.

READ MORE - Climber dies after falling on Oregon's Mount Hood: 'He started cartwheeling'

Sumi was hospitalized at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland where he was pronounced dead.

According to officials, Sumi's group had mid-level experience climbing and had all of the appropriate gear. His friends have created a GoFundMe account to help his family.

The company Sumi worked for, Jet Reports, sent out the following release:

We have lost a valued colleague, who was beloved by all. His presence and character in our office will be sincerely missed. Our grief and confusion at this time are little compared to what Miha's family must be feeling. Our hearts and kind thoughts go out to them. At Jet Reports, we're a family and we will be supporting Miha's loved ones through this difficult time in any way possible.

Several other climbers were stranded until the early evening hours Tuesday due to treacherous conditions, including falling rock and ice in the climbing areas. Rescue crews were also racing against the clock to get everyone safely off the mountain as an overnight snow storm moved into the region.

One of the stranded hikers, Dan Parks, was injured in an unrelated fall. He was able to move and climbed back down with the rescue crews.

During the descent, a member of Sumi's group, Kimberly Anderson, became unable to move. The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office said she was secured to a sled and crews used rope systems to transport her to a waiting snowcat vehicle.

Officials said the rescue operation ended hours before the storm arrived.

From Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts:

Our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Miha Sumi. Thanks to all the search groups for their tremendous work on this complex search-and-rescue mission. Every SAR mission is a team effort requiring help and careful coordination from teams of dedicated first-response partners and volunteers.

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