JERSEY CITY - A New Jersey priest who loved adventure has died fulfilling a lifelong dream.
Father Robert Cormier, 57, fell about 1,000 feet from the top of Oregon's tallest peak Tuesday.
Cormier was a priest at St. Patrick's and Assumption All Saints in Jersey City. His friends say climbing Mt. Hood was his dream, and something he had talked about for 35 years.
The climber had reached the top only to step onto a ledge of snow with nothing underneath, and plunging hundreds of feet. Search crews located his body at the 10,500 foot level. There was no sign of life.
"I'm sure he was thrilled that he made it to the summit of Mt. Hood," says Cormier's secretary, Mary Elaine Connell. "That was his goal. He was training for it for several months."
Cormier, who also wrote several books, had only been at St. Patrick's for 15 months, but his adventurous spirit left a lasting impression.
Father Bob, as he was known at the church, had been climbing mountains with the same group of high school friends for 40 years, but according to Connell, this trip was special.
"They had decided that this would be their last climb, Mount Hood," se says. "And it was, for him."
Due to weather conditions on the mountain, Father Bob's body cannot be retrieved for at least several more days.