Search Suspended for Mt. Hood Climbers

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Rescuers at work on Mt. Hood in severe weather last weekend. Photo courtesy of Portland Mountain Rescue.

Rescuers at work on Mt. Hood in severe weather last weekend. Photo courtesy of Portland Mountain Rescue.

News Link: The search for two missing climbers on Mt. Hood in Oregon has been suspended because of high avalanche danger on the mountain. Luke Gullberg, Katie Nolan, and Anthony Vietti, all in their 20s, started a climb of the 11,239-foot volcano on Friday, December 11. A search began early Saturday morning after the climbers failed to return. That day, rescuers discovered tracks near Illumination Saddle, which led them to discover Gullberg’s body at the foot of the Reid Headwall. The 26-year-old appeared to have fallen and subsequently died from hypothermia. Rescuers surmise he may have been descending for help following an accident higher on the mountain.

Deteriorating avalanche conditions since then have prevented rescuers from searching for the remaining two climbers, although aerial searches were conducted Sunday and Monday. On Tuesday, the search was suspended, as rescuers concluded the snow slopes would need four to five days of clear weather to stabilize sufficiently for searchers to explore the upper mountain on foot.

Date of Accident: December 11, 2009

Sources: News reports, Pmru.org

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