Rescue attempt on Mount Hood

Newer Updates at bottom of post

Rescuers begin big Mount Hood push to find missing climbers 

MOUNT HOOD, Ore. – Moving out before dawn, teams of expert mountaineers began their largest assault yet on Mount Hood today in the search for three missing climbers and were to be helped later in the day by Blackhawk helicopters.

Climbing teams began moving up the north and south side of the 11,239-foot mountain from lodges at the 6,000-foot level. Their first objective is to check for avalanche dangers, said Sgt. Gerry Tiffany, with the Hood River County Sheriff’s office.

“With all the snow and wind from the last five days there is concern of avalanche dangers, which the teams are assessing,” Tiffany said.

The team on the south side may attempt to summit the mountain, he said.

A total of about 80 climbers are poised to take part in the rescue effort during the day — along with helicopters that may drop some close to the summit.

Update: 17 December

Still no sign of missing climbers in Oregon

HOOD RIVER, Ore. Rescue teams in Oregon hope the weather today is a little more cooperative as they continue the search for three climbers lost on Mount Hood for more than a week.

Forty-five rescue mountaineers scoured the upper elevations of the mountain yesterday but winds of up to 50 miles-an-hour kicked up snow, limiting visibility. A Blackhawk helicopter and C-130 aircraft equipped with thermal imaging devices were also used in the search. The C-130 has continued its search overnight.

Hood River County Sheriff Joe Wampler says the odds of finding the three men alive is improved if they’ve held onto the “bivvy sack” sleeping bags they said they were taking on their trek.

Rescuers Find Evidence of 3 Missing Climbers in Oregon

Rescuers searching for three missing climbers on Mount Hood in Oregon have located a snow cave, some equipment and what appears to be a “Y” carved into the snowy flanks of the mountain, and crews were converging on the location to see if there was any sign of the men, officials said today.

Capt. Mike Braibish, from the Oregon National Guard, said that the crews were closing in on the location where the equipment, an ice spike and a coil of rope were detected in an area close to where a signal from a cellphone belonging to one of the climbers had been received last week.

Rescuers in a helicopter had detected what they thought was a snow cave Saturday night and returned in clear weather today to confirm it. Captain Braibish said that he had no information about the status of the three climbers, but that the area is now a “target that has shrunk down”.

“We are very hopeful that we will have more information later today,” Captain Braibish said during a televised news conference.

1 Climber Found Dead in 2nd Snow Cave

HOOD RIVER, Ore. (AP) — Teams looking for three missing climbers on Mount Hood found a body after searching a second snow cave Sunday, an official said.

The dead climber had not yet been identified, said Pete Hughes, a spokesman for the Hood River County Sheriff’s Office. The body was believed to be one of the three missing climbers, authorities said.

The body was found in a snow cave – but not the one that was first searched earlier Sunday, he said.

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