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Dec-15-2009 03:04TweetFollow @OregonNews
Blackhawk Helicopter Joins Search for Missing Climbers on Mount Hood (VIDEO REPORT)Tim King Salem-News.com
Oregon Army National Guard helicopter provides aerial search assistance.
(MT. HOOD, Ore.) - The Oregon Army National Guard launched a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter Monday to assist in the search for two missing climbers on Mount Hood.
Katie Nolan and Anthony Vietti were climbing with a partner, Luke Gullber Friday, when they failed to return from their climb at a scheduled time.
Clackamas County Sheriff's Search and Rescue Coordinators were alerted late Friday evening by a friend of the climbing party, that the three were overdue from their climb on the mountain.
The three climbers were all described as experienced and were well equipped for the intended climb and summit on Mount Hood, Clackamas Sheriff's Office Spokesman Jim Strovink said.
Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue Coordinators learned the climbers intended to return to Timberline Lodge around 2:00 p.m. Friday afternoon.
A Search and Rescue team located Luke Gullber's body Saturday, on Mount Hood. They say he died from exposure.
His body was recovered by search and rescue volunteers, who found this 26-year old climber from Des Moines, Washington deceased at approximately 10:00 a.m. on the Reid Glacier, which is around the 9,000-foot level on Mt. Hood.
Searchers are holding out hope that the experienced, missing climbers are finding a way to stay alive on the mountain until help can reach them.
The National Weather Service, incident meteorologist who is assigned to this ongoing mission, is reporting that an additional, more severe weather pattern for the mountain on Tuesday is expected.
They believe it will bring large amounts of snow to the mountain, the worst news for teams hoping to access already dangerous areas.
The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue Coordinators are assembling Tuesday morning at 7:00 a.m. to assess the present weather conditions and plan the next stage of this search effort.
The Oregon Guard is one of several groups participating in the search and rescue efforts, their aircraft are working hard when flying at this altitude, but they're a big help in searching dangerous terrain on days when avalanches threaten rescuers on the ground.
The National Guard helicopter crew picked up members of the Portland Mountain Rescue team at Timberline Lodge for an hour and a half aerial flight over the parts of Mount Hood where the missing climbers could be located.
Fog was a factor for this crew, as well as high altitude and cold conditions on the mountain. The search for the climbers unfortunately didn't lead to their location, operations will continue Tuesday.
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