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Climber falls to death from atop Oregon's Mt Hood

By Teresa Carson

PORTLAND, Oregon (Reuters) - A climber is thought to have fallen roughly 700 to 800 feet to his death from the top of Oregon's Mt. Hood on Tuesday as at least one other stunned climber looked on, the Hood River Sheriff's Office said.

The fall was reported to authorities by another climber about 8 a.m. local time, but the other climber lost sight of him after the fall in the Eliot Glacier area of the mountain.

The climber was spotted at about the 10,500-foot level of the mountain and was observed by both a fixed-wing aircraft and helicopter, but there was no sign of life.

"His injuries appeared to be too severe to survive," the sheriff's office said in a statement. The climber was not identified.

Mt. Hood, about 60 miles east of Portland, is a popular mountain climbing spot, with 8,000 to 10,000 climbs per year. This is the peak of the climbing season and conditions were clear on Tuesday.

This is the first climbing fatality this year. About two or three climbers lose their lives on the mountain every year, said Christopher Van Tilburg, a medical adviser with local volunteer search and rescue organization Crag Rats.

(Editing by Cynthia Johnston)

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