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New Jersey man dies in climbing fall

HOOD RIVER — The Hood River County Sheriff's Office has identified the fallen climber on Mount Hood as 57-year-old Robert J. Cormier of Jersey City, N.J.. Cormier was a Catholic Priest in Jersey City.

On May 13 at about 1:45 a.m., Cormier left Timberline Lodge with two other men to summit Mount Hood. Near the summit, one of the men had to turn back due to a leg cramp. Cormier continued up the mountain. Upon reaching the summit, Cormier was seen falling through an ice cornice on the north side of the mountain.

A sheriff's office search plane located Cormier, but was not able to assess his condition. The sheriff's office requested the assistance of the Oregon Army National Guard Charlie Company, 7-158 Aviation from Salem. They sent a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter and crew to assist. The crew located Cormier at about the 10,500 foot level on the mountain. There was no sign of life and the crew believed he could not have survived the severe injuries they witnessed.

Search crews will not attempt a recovery of Cormier this week due to high temperatures and extreme avalanche danger in the area where Cormier's body is. They will have to wait until the weather gives them an opportunity to recover his body.

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