Code 1244: The 1986 Mount Hood Tragedy

Code 1244: The 1986 Mount Hood Tragedy - Ric Conrad

Code 1244: The 1986 Mount Hood Tragedy


In May 1986, a private preparatory school's field trip made worldwide headlines. Twenty climbers began ascending what has arguably been called the second-most climbed mountain in the world--Oregon's Mount Hood.

Caught in one of the worst blizzards imaginable, they battled the elements while waiting for a rescue. The community responded by launching one of the largest mountain Search and Rescue (SAR) operations in the nation's history.

Recognizing that no book concerning the highly controversial story existed, the author spent over four years researching and carefully assembling the heartbreaking pieces of the puzzle.

Ric Conrad conducted thirty-seven interviews with key witnesses. He presents the story from several unique perspectives: those in the command post, directing the operation; those on the individual SAR teams, battling time and the elements; and the friends and family members of the missing climbers, maintaining their multi-day vigil.

Representatives from the Clackamas County Sheriff's Department, Portland Mountain Rescue, Seattle Mountain Rescue, Corvallis Mountain Rescue Unit, the Crag Rats, Hillsboro Helicopters, Timberline Lodge, and the 304th Air Force Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron have all shared their memories in this compelling volume. Original strategy directives, team missions, and configurations--all are explored and explained.

The oral history gleaned from these interviews, coupled with the author's extensive use of primary documentation, has yielded--at long last--the agonizing, yet heroic story of one of America's worst mountaineering tragedies.

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In May 1986, a private preparatory school's field trip made worldwide headlines. Twenty climbers began ascending what has arguably been called the second-most climbed mountain in the world--Oregon's Mount Hood.

Caught in one of the worst blizzards imaginable, they battled the elements while waiting for a rescue. The community responded by launching one of the largest mountain Search and Rescue (SAR) operations in the nation's history.

Recognizing that no book concerning the highly controversial story existed, the author spent over four years researching and carefully assembling the heartbreaking pieces of the puzzle.

Ric Conrad conducted thirty-seven interviews with key witnesses. He presents the story from several unique perspectives: those in the command post, directing the operation; those on the individual SAR teams, battling time and the elements; and the friends and family members of the missing climbers, maintaining their multi-day vigil.

Representatives from the Clackamas County Sheriff's Department, Portland Mountain Rescue, Seattle Mountain Rescue, Corvallis Mountain Rescue Unit, the Crag Rats, Hillsboro Helicopters, Timberline Lodge, and the 304th Air Force Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron have all shared their memories in this compelling volume. Original strategy directives, team missions, and configurations--all are explored and explained.

The oral history gleaned from these interviews, coupled with the author's extensive use of primary documentation, has yielded--at long last--the agonizing, yet heroic story of one of America's worst mountaineering tragedies.

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