Woman rescued from Mount Hood: Hope got her through

PORTLAND, Ore. - A woman who survived on Mount Hood for six days said Monday that hope was what got her through the ordeal and it's important to bringing home Kinley Adams, who's been missing on the mountain since Saturday.

Rescuers helped Mary Owen off the mountain three months ago. She still has some nerve damage in her foot from the frostbite but otherwise she's doing well.

She has a new appreciation for life and still thinks about those six days every day.

On March 24 Owen left alone for a day hike on Mount Hood. But as she planned to head back down, a fall in a canyon changed everything. She thought she would die and recorded a message for her family:

"That I was OK. That I was ready to die. That I still believed that God is good," she said Monday.

She soon realized she had the right gear to survive: a tarp, a poncho, equipment for a fire and a little extra food.

"I had packed enough with me," she said. "I could make shelter, and I would be able to stay warm."

Dr. David Spiro with Oregon Health and Science University, said preparation means prevention.

"It depends on what the conditions are; it depends on how well the hiker's prepared (and) time of exposure," he said.

Owen had gotten frostbite in her feet as blood rushed to warm her internal organs. But without her gear, hypothermia could have taken a greater toll.

"There's a progression where the shivering turns into some confusion. There will be a period of time where an adult or a child becomes agitated and then the body starts to shut down," Spiro said.

Owen made it through physically.

"I spent most of the days I was out there curled up in the fetal position sitting upright with my poncho over everything," she said.

But it was also a mental fight.

"There were days when I seriously considered throwing myself down the rest of the canyon wall just because of the pain and the cold," she said.

But she hung onto hope and on March 30, she saw the rescue helicopter.

"That was definitely, that was a good moment," she said.

Now she prays Kinley Adams will have the same outcome.

"When people are praying and hoping and continuing to hope, I think there's power in that."

Owen also mentioned how search and rescue crews never felt they were looking for a body. They believed she was alive and she said that is important.