Unfortunately the press in Oregon is often extremely inaccurate when it comes to mountaineering issues. They sensationalize, get the location of key features wrong, and rely on inaccurate and biased sources for quotes. When we can report accurate information here we will, and we will also post corrections to press reports that are incorrect or misleading.
This section also has links to recent events which may be of interest to the press as well as articles on key issues for those reporters and editors wishing to accurately educate themselves before going to press with something.
Accurate Reports from the OMA
Rescue of Climbers from the Sandy Glacier - June 20, 2000
Corrections to Press Mis-information
Sandy Glacier rockfall accident - June 20, 2000
This incident spurned some of the worst reporting in a long time, perhaps since 1996 (see below). Much of the misinformation has been addressed in the OMA report. United States Forest Service (USFS) officials made a concerted effort at slandering one of the climbers, and the press made no effort to verify what they reported even though their USFS sources would not go on record with their names. They reported that the VHF radio used during the rescue was reserved for "official use", and the Oregonian and the Corvallis Gazette-Times both went as far as putting this in the headline. The frequency used turns out to be licensed by the State of Oregon Department of Emergency Management for use in emergency situations. They have stated that use of the frequency was entirely appropriate in this case. Many other accusations were mis-reported as well, and at least one Portland television station web posted (and even modified) a photo from one of the climbers without requesting permission or providing an acknowledgement..
Mt Hood fatal fall from summit - June 4, 2000
Diane Kornet fell from the summit down the north side. The reasons for her fall remain unknown. However, the Oregonian quoted Rocky Henderson of Portland Mountain Rescue as claiming she was attempting to get out of the wind. He was not present at the time of the accident and this misconception had to be dispelled by a member of the climbing party in a letter to the editor. Mr. Henderson was also quoted as saying she should have remained roped on the summit when in fact this is not a common practice. Our report file includes the letter to the editor from a member of the climbing party which dispels these inaccurate quotations.
North Sister fatal fall from summit - July 11, 1999
The press put the Thayer Glacier on the wrong side of the mountain and at the wrong elevation. They also claimed this accident was near a previous one in the "bowling alley" when it was actually on the other side of the mountain. Our report file includes the news reports as well as corrections submitted to us.
Mt Hood, "lost climbers" turn up just fine - March 1996
A group of students from Reid College set out with a storm in the forecast. Since they were aware of this they were adequately prepared. Their climbing registration reflected this. However, a major search operation resulted which the press made a great sensation of. This actually brought about efforts to charge climbers for rescues - see the editorial titled "Jokers on the Mountain". While the press makes a great issue out of "Rescue Costs" they never adequately express any gratitude for the many volunteers who generally underwrite rescues with their own time, training and equipment. So where's the cost?