• The woman was skiing with her husband when the incident happened
  • Other than a dislocated shoulder, the woman was fine  
  • Authorities said it would have been difficult to rescue her if a fellow skier hadn't immediately helped 

A Portland woman made a miraculous escape after falling into a 15-foot volcanic vent, hidden beneath the snow, on Oregon's Mount Hood.

Caroline Sundbaum, 35, was skiing with her husband when the incident happened. Sundbaum said she suffered a dislocated shoulder from the fall, but was otherwise fine.

"The sensation was like someone pulling a chair out from underneath you. I sat down at the spot to wait for my husband and a friend to return to the area from the summit so we could ski back down as a group. I sat on my pack and it all came out from underneath me,” Sundbaum said on ABC News' "Good Morning America" on Monday, three days after the incident occurred.

She fell into the hole known as a "fumarole" near the top of the 11,240-foot high volcano. Sundbaum initially plunged about five feet down, then slid further down the hole, injuring her shoulder in the process.

Oregon's Mount Hood is an active volcano and the fumarole can emit steam and gases that often smell like rotten eggs, but are concealed by other weather conditions.

A fellow climber, who saw Sundbaum fall, rushed to help. He had a rope, which he used to hoist her out of the hole.

"I was terrified, very concerned that the snow was going to fall on me and suffocate me," Sundbaum said. A frequent skier, she had water and was wearing a helmet as well as traction devices on her feet.

According to authorities, the quick rescue also saved Sundbaum from toxic fumes that are usually emitted by fumaroles.

Clackamas County Sheriff's Office said it was fortunate that another climber witnessed this incident.

"It would have been extremely difficult to locate Sundbaum. The air inside fumaroles can be toxic and potentially deadly. The witness called 911 and then took immediate action," the sheriff's office said in a statement, People reported.

The statement added Portland Mountain Rescue has developed safety protocols for its rescuers that govern how and when they can enter a fumarole cavity for a rescue. "These protocols include continuously monitoring toxic gases, wearing air-purifying respirators, and employing safety systems for rapid extraction if something goes wrong," the statement said.

Mt Hood Oregon
Mount Hood, Oregon Pixabay