Woman rescued from Oregon mountain after husband plunges to death

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 30, 2015 6:06 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. (Reuters) - A woman who spent the night nearly 9,000 feet (2,743 meters) up Mount Jefferson in Oregon after her husband fell into a crevasse and died was air-lifted off the volcano on Monday, authorities said. 

Rescue climbers who were deployed about 2,000 feet (610 meters) from Alison Fountain on Sunday ran into rough terrain and were unable to reach her until Monday morning, Marion County Sheriff spokesman Chris Baldridge said.

The 29-year-old woman was airlifted in good condition from Mount Jefferson, an active volcano and the second highest peak in Oregon, by an Air Guard helicopter and reunited with family members later on Monday morning, Baldridge said.

Her husband, 32-year-old Tommy Fountain, died after falling into the crevasse at about 4 p.m. on Sunday, according to Baldridge.

The helicopter was expected to refuel and return to the mountain to recover his body and pick up the rescue climbers.

Mount Jefferson spans parts of Jefferson, Linn and Marion Counties and is located about 105 miles (169 km) east of Corvallis, home of Oregon State University.

The stratovolcano is part of the Cascade Range and is the second highest peak after Mount Hood in Oregon at 10,497 feet (3,200 meters). 

"Because of its summit pinnacle requiring Class 4 scrambling on very steep, usually ice-encrusted rock, it is considered by some to be the most difficult of the higher volcanoes," according to summitpost.org, a climbing and mountaineering forum. 

Authorities located the couple's car at a trailhead in Marion County after being alerted there was an injured climber on the mountain. Alison Fountain was able to text a family member and then keep in touch with searchers via text message, Baldridge said.

(Reporting by Shelby Sebens; Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Sandra Maler)