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April 2nd, 2013
11:45 AM ET

Hiker rescued after six days on Mt. Hood says she's 'coming back' to complete the summit

A hiker is recovering this morning after she was stranded for six harrowing days on Oregon’s Mount Hood.

Mary Owen suffered a gash on her thigh, an injury to her right leg and frostbite on both feet after getting stranded on a mountain she climbed alone a week ago after her friends decided not to join. Heavy snow and a wrong turn and then a 40-feet fall over rocky terrain left her idly waiting for help until the National Guard rescued her this weekend.

This morning Owen joins “Starting Point” from her hospital bed in Oregon to discuss how she survived alone for six days on the mountain.

“I … made some really bad decisions,” says Owen. “I have God to thank for surviving and the prayers of my good friends and family and the work of the search and rescue crew and the National Guard” she adds.

Owen says she was able to survive by staying in one position, especially since she couldn't move either of her legs.

“I just kind of pounded out little caves in the snow to protect from the wind and rain and stuff and hunkered down in my poncho and tried to keep most of my body warm," she says. "Wasn’t a whole lot that I was doing...just kind of rationing out my food and ended up making a fire on Thursday.”

When it comes to survival Owen says it never crossed her mind that she wouldn't survive.

"There wasn’t really a moment where I thought I might not survive. There were a lot of moments where I was wondering why people weren’t looking for me and how long it would take,” she says.

As for if she'll be going back hiking anytime soon, Owen says she has to complete her goal to summit Mt. Hood.

"I actually have my sisters' promises, that they are going to try to summit with me, so I have their word on that. And I'll definitely be out in the outdoors after this point and I'm coming back for Hood, I do need to summit that mountain," she says.


Filed under: Mountain climbing • Rescue
soundoff (One Response)
  1. joshbakerwriter

    Reblogged this on hikingnorthwest and commented:
    While I am glad her story had a happy ending, Miss Owen was woefully unprepared for tackling a serious mountain. Mount Hood is not a walk in the park. When one wants to climbing a steep glaciated peak, partners and basic mountaineering gear like crampons and an ice axe should be taken. Outdoor adventurers cannot simply trust that all will be well by virtue of their prayers. The mountain has no mercy on the naïve. Hopefully others will learn form Owen's mistakes.

    April 3, 2013 at 1:46 am | Report abuse | Reply

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