Recovery team retrieves body of priest killed in Mount Hood fall

HOOD RIVER, Ore. (AP) - A Hood River County sheriff's spokesman says a recovery team has successfully retrieved the body of a New Jersey man who fell to his death on Oregon's Mount Hood.

Sgt. Pete Hughes says recovering the body of 57-year-old Robert Cormier, a Catholic priest from Jersey City, took the 18-person team about 17 hours Wednesday. Climbers had to pull the body from a crevasse it had slipped into, a task complicated by near-vertical terrain and falling rocks.

A dangerous traverse to safe ground took several more hours and was complicated by wind.

A private helicopter eventually was able to move the body.

Cormier reached the summit of the 11,240-foot peak east of Portland on May 13. Then he was seen falling through a ledge of ice and tumbling about 1,000 feet.

The recovery climb was delayed until temperatures on the mountain fell, reducing the risk of an avalanche.

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