Body Found on Mount Hood Identified as Missing Arizona Hiker

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in Maryland. He covers U.S. and world news.
October 12, 2018Updated: October 12, 2018

Missing Arizona hiker David Yaghmourian was found dead on Mount Hood, Oregon authorities said after finding the body.

Yaghmourian’s family had said that the 30-year-old traveled to the state to hike the Timberline Trail, which wraps around the mountain, with a friend.

The friend, Hayden Kirschbaum of Portland, told KATU that he and Yaghmourian split up on Oct. 8, when they were close to the Timberline Lodge, where the trail meets the Pacific Crest Trail, and wanted to push on.

“I was feeling real sick earlier that morning and didn’t want to spend too much time out there. We were so close—about a half hour from the lodge—with clear visibility, so we just talked to each other and he said, ‘Yeah I’ll take some breaks, sounds good, and I’ll go ahead and meet you at the lodge,'” Kirschbaum said, noting it was just after 8 a.m.

About an hour later, a search was launched after a concerned Kirschbaum notified authorities his friend hadn’t shown up. The official search started at about 5 p.m., around nine hours after the pair split up.

Body Discovered

Search-and-rescue personnel took the body of Yaghmourian to the Timberline Lodge around 8:30 a.m. on Oct. 11, after a climber found it, according to the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office.

The deceased was found about 1.84 miles northeast of the lodge, at an elevation of 8,270 feet at the top of White River Canyon, authorities said.

The family of Yaghmourian was told before the office alerted the public.

Officials said the search took so long because the body ended up being higher than they expected.

“A private climber attempting to summit Mt. Hood located a body at approximately the 8,300-foot elevation on the mountain, about a half-mile east of Silcox Hut. There was snow in the area. This was outside our official search area by about 3,000 feet—higher than expected,” the office stated.

“Searchers had ascended to the 5,800-foot level, but had not found any indications that anyone else had gone through that area.”


Rescue workers said it appeared that Yaghmourian, a graduate student from Glendale, Arizona, had tried to set up a tent and sleeping bag after becoming hypothermic. It appeared he had suffered an injury from a fall estimated at 30 feet.

Sgt. Dan Kraus, a Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office spokesman, told the Oregonian that Yaghmourian seemed to have gotten lost after missing a turn. After going higher up the mountain, he had tried to find a way back down but ended up dead amid the heavy rain and freezing temperatures.

“If you’re unfamiliar with the terrain, it can happen to even experienced personnel,” Kraus said.


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