MOUNT HOOD, Ore. – A member of the Polish military who had been climbing on Mount Hood fell more than 1,000 feet to his death after reaching the mountain's summit, according to a sheriff's office spokesman.
Sebastian Kinasiewicz, 32, told his roommate he intended to climb to the top of the mountain and left about 8 a.m. Sunday, according to the Hood River County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff’s office was called at about 7:30 a.m. Monday after Kinasiewicz did not return.
His body was spotted by rescuers mid-morning on Tuesday, although they have not yet been able to get to his body. They said it was in a place that was too dangerous to access.
"(Searchers) were watching boulders falling down in the basin" where Kinasiewicz's body is, said Sgt. Pete Hughes with the Hood River County Sheriff's Office.
Kinasiewicz fell in an area known as Hourglass Shoot. He was on his way back down after summiting when he fell, rescuers said.
One searcher said the boulders falling in the area were the size of small cars.
The route he took is known for being more challenging than other routes.
"It's just really sad that something like this happens," Hughes said. "It's just dangerous this time of year."
Fixed-wing aircraft were used in the search Monday and a National Guard helicopter was added on Tuesday. Kinasiewicz's body was spotted by the Blackhawk helicopter crew.
Rescue crews had searched all day Monday using planes and ground teams without finding him. They left the Cloud Cap Inn at about 4 a.m. Tuesday to resume the search.
Deputies originally his vehicle parked at the Tilly Jane Trailhead in Hood River County but weren't sure what route he had taken up the mountain.
Deputies said Kinasiewicz had an ice ax and crampons but no other survival gear. He was dressed in a black jacket with a blue pack that contains warm clothing and water. He was described as a novice climber.
According to the sheriff’s office, Kinasiewicz was in the region for training at Insitu, a Boeing subsidiary in Bingen, Wash. that produces unmanned aircraft systems.
"Our thoughts are with Sebastian’s family at this difficult time," Insitu said in a statement.