Last edited by westofyou; 12-16-2006 at 10:31 AM.
December is not a typical climbing month on Mount Hood. The three men took on the north face rather than more popular south routes because it offers the ice and terrain to train for more difficult mountains.Twelve glaciers and five ridges tempt and challenge climbers from all over the world.
Mt. Hood is best climbed between May and July to avoid avalanche danger in early season and rock fall and the Bergschrund in later summer and fall.
Great post WOY. From a national perspective it does look like Oregon is suddenly the Wild West Frontier. Well, it really is the Wild West. Impossible to have guard rails and trail signage/safeguards directing tourists across 100K square miles of rugged terrain -- like you see back East in the few rugged places that exist like Great Smoky Mtn National Park etc.
Don't forget the three guys missing off the Oregon Coast taking a catamaran from SF to Seattle.
Basically oregon is a lot like Wyoming and Montana when you get outside the Willammette Valley where 70% of the state's 3.5M people live.
Now it's looking like all three have met their fate.
HOOD RIVER -- Clues to the last known location of Brian Hall and Jerry "Nikko" Cooke began to emerge Monday as searchers launched a more focused effort to find the two missing climbers on Mount Hood.
Footprints and equipment left at a hastily dug shelter indicated that after leaving to get help for injured climber Kelly James, Hall and Cooke found themselves at an area called "the gullies" above Eliot Glacier, where they would have confronted howling winds and blowing snow. If they fell while attempting to descend, they faced a steep, 2,500-foot drop, Hood County Sheriff Joe Wampler said.
Wow, for some people I guess just watching the x-games isn't good enough. Why in the world would you tempt the reaper like this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_HoodOn May 24, 2002, a 30 year old Argentine national attempted to snowboard off Mount Hood's summit along Cooper Spur ridge. He lost control after a few turns and tumbled over 2,000 feet to his death.
Another storm is expected to roll in by tonight, bringing sustained winds of 50 mph and as much as a foot of snow on the mountain, according to the National Weather Service.
The sheriff said Tuesday that he hoped to send in an avalanche team to probe the snow with poles if and when conditions permit.
The county conservatively estimates it has been spending about $5,000 a day for food, fuel, lodging, personnel and overtime costs during the nine full days of the operation. The county's search and rescue budget for the year was about $14,000, Chief Deputy Jerry Brown said.
Brown said he met this week with county commissioners, who are faced with finding funds to prepare for the next search and rescue operation, which could come at any time."Needless to say, we're just a wee bit in the wind on that one," he said.
Wampler said he wasn't going to tell people they shouldn't climb Mount Hood in winter.
Rescuers from the U.S. Air Force Reserve's 304th Rescue Squadron who found James in his snow cave said he had a thin lightweight waterproof sack, but no sleeping bag and no warm insulated jacket."The only thing I would say in regards to climbing the mountain this time of year (is) if you have a problem, it's really hard to get rescued," he said.
"I think an injury threw that schedule all off and left them in a position of, 'What are we gonna do?' " Wampler said.
Notes the men left indicated they would descend Cooper Spur in an emergency.
I'd be surprised that people could live 2+ weeks on the streets of Portland with the weather we've been having, let alone Hood. Freezing rain already today, 75 MPH winds last week, below freezing at 0 elevation at night the last week. I feel like I'm living in Iowa again.
It seems like they've put forth ample time and resources in a recovery attempt from the reports I'm seeing. I truly hope the 'funds' aren't an issue as hinted at below....I'd imagine the public would foot that bill in a heartbeat if asked.
Baseball is like church. Many attend, few understand
Maybe the Governor there should just close the state to visitors until Memorial Day 2007?
Hood River, Oregon (CNN) -- The effort to save two climbers still missing on Oregon's Mount Hood ended Wednesday, the search leaders glumly acknowledging that the mountain and the weather were too much to overcome.
"Incidents on the mountain are very unforgiving," said Hood River County Sheriff Joe Wampler, one of the chief coordinators of the search. "This time of year, Mount Hood is a dangerous place to be, based on the weather conditions."
"Right now we're going to let everyone go home for Christmas," he added.
I was shocked upon arriving back here in Cincinnati that the Mt. Hood search was national news and has been for a week or more. I had figured it was just something that the local affiliates were harping on.
Between the continuous updates on the lost climbers and the other stuff about power outages in Washington, the PNW is looking like the ice planet Hoth lately.
Interesting story, somewhat related to the general topic of this thread, apparently this guy survived for three weeks in the freezing cold in the Japanese wilderness and speculation is his body went into some kind of hibernative state:
Check CNN much Doc?I was shocked upon arriving back here in Cincinnati that the Mt. Hood search was national news and has been for a week or more.
BTW Happy B Day
Here we go again
MOUNT HOOD, Oregon (CNN) -- A search-and-rescue team has reached five stranded climbers in white-out conditions and began removing them from Mount Hood, officials said.
But the effort to find three other climbers who had fallen from a ledge continues.
The accident occurred at an altitude of more than 8,300 feet in the area of Illumination Saddle, said the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, which received word of the missing climbers shortly before noon (3 p.m. ET).
None of the three climbers who fell could be seen and none were able to communicate with the other five members of the party, who were in cell-phone contact with authorities and apparently in good physical condition, said Jim Strovink, a spokesman for the sheriff's office.
"This team was well-equipped," he said, citing adequate clothing and climbing equipment and mountain locator units, which are electronic devices that enable rescuers to pinpoint a climber's location.
One heartening sign was that a locator unit belonging to one of the three missing climbers was activated after they fell, he said. "We're homing in on them at the present time," he said. "Hopefully, we'll be able to locate these people shortly."
Though the missing climbers also had cell phones, transmission on the mountain is typically spotty, he said.
The five climbers who called about their missing colleagues were found late Sunday afternoon in snow caves and rescuers began the process of getting down the mountain, Russell Gubele, command officer for Mountain Wave Search and Rescue said.
In addition to the sheriff's office, American Medical Response, Portland Mountain Rescue and Mountain Wave Communication Specialists were involved in the search.