Found Mt. Hood climber tells survival tale
Injured and alone, waited nearly week for rescue
After surviving for six nights, injured and alone on Mt. Hood, Mary Owen talked about her ordeal Sunday from a hospital bed where she's recovering with frostbitten toes and an injured leg.
“I just got it into my head that I wanted to go alone, which was not a good idea,” Owen said in an interview with KGW Sunday.
While she admits to being headstrong, she was well-prepared when she left Timberline Lodge, hoping to summit Mt. Hood last Sunday.
“Apparently my climbers registration got lost or something, so they never even knew I was on the mountain," she said. "So I spent Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday wondering why no one was looking for me."
White-out conditions forced her to abort her summit attempt on Sunday. She got lost going down and was funneled into a canyon where she made a snow shelter. Monday morning, she tried climbing out.
“My ice ax slipped and I fell through the trees and rocks back down onto the snow,” she said.
Owen's leg and ankle were injured during the 40-foot fall. She decided to hunker down and wait to be rescued -- but became worried when she sensed nobody was looking for her.
She said she survived on melted snow and special supplies, from Nutri-Grain bars and crackers to chia seeds and ramen.
After sensing things were going to get better, she said she spotted a plane Friday, then dreamed that night that a helicopter would rescue her. And Saturday morning, that's just what happened.
“The wilderness is still beautiful, and it’s God's territory,: Owen said. "So I’ll definitely be out there again soon."
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