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Dec-12-2009 18:31printcomments

Rescue Operation Underway on Mt. Hood

At least 30 volunteers are present on the Mountain engaged in this search effort. The search has concentrated on or near the Reid Glacier – at around the 9,000 foot level – situated on the western face of Mount Hood.

Mt. Hood viewed from the Gresham area.
Mt. Hood viewed from the Gresham area.

(MT. HOOD, Ore.) - Clackamas County Sheriff's Office personnel and volunteers launched a Search and Rescue mission on Mount Hood Saturday, for three missing climbers. Det. Jim Strovink, Sheriff's Office Spokesman, says Clackamas County Sheriff's Search and Rescue Coordinators were alerted late Friday evening by a friend of one of the three climbers, that the climbing party was overdue from their climb.

Sheriff's Office SAR Coordinators learned the climbers intended to return to Timberline Lodge around 2:00 p.m. Friday afternoon. The three climbers – two males and a female - are described as experienced and were well equipped for the intended climb and summit on Mount Hood, Strovink said.

"These three climbers did complete the climbing register at the Lodge prior to their departure at 1:00 a.m. Friday morning. This is not an unusual hour to depart for the intended climb this party was conducting on Mount Hood."

The SAR Coordinators learned earlier today that a cell phone of one of the climbers had been activated on Friday, at 1:30 a.m. That cell phone activation was most probably conducted while the climbers were still present in the vicinity of Timberline Lodge.

Strovink says some relatives of the missing climbers are present at Timberline Lodge, and additional out-of-state family members are anticipated late this afternoon.

These family members are briefed constantly by SAR personnel and are receiving emotional support provided by a Sandy Fire Chaplain according to Strovink.

"Portland Mountain Rescue volunteers are searching on the Mountain at this time for the missing climbers. The weather conditions on Mount Hood are described by SAR personnel as treacherous. Snow is falling and visibility is very limited."

Strovink continued, "The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office is exceedingly fortunate to have skilled mountaineers representing Portland Mountain Rescue available to participate in this mission. In addition, Mountain Wave Communications personnel are maintaining the critical lines of radio communications for SAR personnel on the Mountain."

At least 30 volunteers are present on the Mountain engaged in this search effort. The search has concentrated on or near the Reid Glacier – at around the 9,000 foot level – situated on the western face of Mount Hood.

The Clackamas County Sheriff's SAR Coordinators are preparing for this mission to continue into Sunday and have expressed concerns about the treacherous weather conditions that exist on the Mountain.




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Climb December 14, 2009 3:25 am (Pacific time)

I hope they come back safe, and my prayers go out to all the families, especially Luke's.


Ben Turner December 13, 2009 1:26 pm (Pacific time)

Hikers should be made to carry visual distress devices when on Mt. Hood. Something like a GPS or a rescue streamer.


Daniel Johnson December 12, 2009 9:30 pm (Pacific time)

I don’t wish anyone ill and really hope that everyone, particularly the rescuers get down safely and uninjured. My world of excitement is in the world of ideas, so it is no surprise that I have no understanding of why people feel the need to undertake dangerous antics. But when such people get into trouble, it not only adds unnecessarily to the tax burden for rescue operations, but it also puts the lives of others at risk.


Bert Hardin December 12, 2009 7:24 pm (Pacific time)

No One Should Be Allowed To Climb This Mountain When Our Weather Is Like It Is! Hope They Are Found Safe

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