Found Mt. Hood climber tells survival tale

Injured and alone, waited nearly week for rescue

PORTLAND, Ore. - 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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