A hardy and determined woman celebrated Easter in the
hospital recuperating after spending six nights stranded and injured on
Oregon's Mount Hood.
Mary Owen, 23, said her faith in God got her through those
six excruciating days alone in the cold on Mount Hood before a National
Guard helicopter spotted her Saturday morning, at an elevation of about
4,600 feet. She was flown to a Portland, Ore., hospital and treated for
frostbite on her toes.
"It's hard to give up hope when there's so much life inside
you," Owen said Sunday from her hospital bed.
Owen was last heard from on Sunday and was reported missing
Thursday evening, ABC News affiliate KATU reported. Owen slipped and cut
her leg badly after a whiteout last Sunday.
"The first thing I did was pound out a snow cave because
you want to get protection from wind and the elements," Owen said.
Owen, an experienced climber, was certain she'd be found
soon. But time passed and no one came. She melted snow for water and
started fires for warmth. For the next six days, she sat on the mountain
alone and injured, occasionally moving to avoid avalanches crumbling
"I'd have these weird dreams about people coming and
telling me about how to come off the mountain. And I'd pack my stuff up
and get ready to go and then just be like oh there's nobody here," she
Alone in her solitude, she began reflecting on the people
that mattered most to her and wondered if she would ever see them again.
"I was out there and just thinking of all the loose ends
that I left behind and the people that I care about," Owen said. "And that
was something that really hit me."
Owen said on Good Friday she saw planes flying overhead and
thought her prayers would be answered. Unfortunately, the helicopters
didn't spot her, leading to another cold night on Mount Hood. However,
Owen's faith remained throughout her time alone on the mountain.
Then on Saturday, nearly a full week on Mt. Hood, she was
spotted by a National Guard helicopter.
"I was very much overwhelmed and just screaming for them to
come back for me. They finally did and they turned around and came back
and that was a good moment," Owen said with tears in her eyes.
Owen spent Easter Sunday with her family at the hospital and received what
she wanted most besides being rescued - French toast and a bath.