PORTLAND, Ore. — An Oregon National Guard helicopter crew on Saturday spotted a hiker who had been missing on Mount Hood for about a week, and flew her to a Portland hospital for treatment, the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office said.
Mary Owen, 23, was found shortly after 10 a.m. on Sandy Glacier, at an elevation of about 4,600 feet. The college student had frostbite and possibly a fractured ankle, sheriff’s spokesman Marcus Mendoza said.
Owen’s mother, father, brother and roommate learned the good news as soon as they arrived at the Timberline Lodge parking lot, The Oregonian reported.
“We’re completely relieved,” her father, Bruce Owen, told the newspaper. “We were concerned because she had been out so long.”
Owen is a senior at George Fox University in Newberg, about 70 miles west of Mount Hood. She was on spring break and had not been in contact with friends or relatives since Sunday, when she emailed a friend to say she was going for a hike and planned to return late Sunday or Monday.
When days passed and Owen didn’t come back, one of her roommates called her father to ask if he had heard from her. Bruce Owen contacted police.
Mary Owen’s SUV was found late Thursday in the parking lot at Timberline Lodge, the sheriff’s office said. Deputies said it appeared to have been there for some time, and Mary Owen’s backpack was inside.
Bruce Owen, in an interview Friday, said he spoke with his daughter on March 22, and she told him she was going to climb the mountain the next day with a group that included a man she had met on the North Sister in Central Oregon last year. It appears the plans for a group climb fell through because there were no reports of any other missing people on the mountain.
Bruce Owen said it wouldn’t be out of character for his daughter to suddenly decide to do something on her own.
Owen said his daughter, a senior planning a career in Bible translation, has never done any technical climbing, but is an experienced backpacker who previously hiked the length of the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada.