Climbers missing on Mount Hood, Oregon


OregonLive reports that the search for the missing climbers on Mount Hood has ended. Search for climbers now a “recovery effort”
Hood River County Sheriff Joe Wampler said today the search for two missing climbers on Mount Hood is now a “recovery effort. “We’ve done everything we can at this point,” Wampler said, after returning from a airplane ride around the mountain earlier this morning. Wampler’s decision ended a dramatic nine-day search for three climbers who went missing on Mount Hood on Dec. 11. Earlier this week, the body of one was found in a snow cave near the summit of the 11,240-foot mountain — the second-most climbed in the world. Earlier today, the search for Brian Hall of Texas and Jerry “Nikko” Cooke of New York was scaled back dramatically with no searchers working above the tree line.

As of 11am on Tuesday OregonLive, the online leg of the Oregonian Newspaper, is reporting that the search for the missing climbers on Mount Hood will be scaled back. No more helicopters will search though 2 planes and some ground crews will contine the search for the climbers.

Search for hikers gets scaled back; pictures found in James’ camera worry authorities
Hood River County Sheriff Joe Wampler said today’s search for two missing climbers will be scaled back considerably, and authorities worry that time may be running out to find the men alive.

CNN Sunday

KGW news reports

As of 3:45 Sunday reports are that one climber has been found dead in a snow cave with no sign of the other 2 missing climbers.

As of 11:30 am Saturday the plan is to have a team scale up, then down Mount Hood in attempt to find the three missing climbers, one in snow cave near summit and two with location unknown.

Much more is in Comments Section

Summary of articles from The Hendricks Report

Climbers are missing on Mount Hood | James Kim Discussion Click HERE

Friday Update – CNN

Update Wednesday

Update Tuesday from Oregon Live

A more detailed Mount Hood Climbers search discussion is here

Excellent summary of the route and circumstances is here

… please feel free to post in comments ...

Kudos to Ezyflares for sending Hood River some emergency flares after reading this post.

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About JoeDuck

Internet Travel Guy, Father of 2, small town Oregon life. BS Botany from UW Madison Wisconsin, MS Social Sciences from Southern Oregon. Top interests outside of my family's well being are: Internet Technology, Online Travel, Globalization, China, Table Tennis, Real Estate, The Singularity.
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160 Responses to Climbers missing on Mount Hood, Oregon

  1. glenn says:

    Does anyone know any local climbers familiar with the northface?

  2. Paul says:

    Does this help any:
    http://www.topozone.com/map.asp?lat=45.37361&lon=-121.69444

    Am from Portland and know some climbers, but not well enough to pass along their contact info. Do know that route is the one that serious/experienced types prefer. Novices can climb the section above Timberline Lodge.

  3. glenn says:

    I am assuming the top of the topo is north? Forgive me I cannot seem to find the compass headings on the image.

    Does anyone know the summit line on the northface?

  4. glenn says:

    Search teams headed up the flanks of Mount Hood early Monday in an attempt to find three climbers reported missing in snowy weather during the weekend, the Hood River County sheriff’s office said.

    reported by Fox News

  5. Paul says:

    Glenn-

    Your #3 inquiry above, see:

    According to a posting on the website of the Oregon Mountaineering Assoc, the North side is not frequently climbed.

    In the photo link above, the snow cave of the injured climber is reported to be at the top of Elliot Glacier. OMA also says, “The other two had left on Saturday to seek help, presumably going down towards their starting point on the North side. (A healthy party in good weather conditions would generally be able to descend in a few hours.)”

  6. glenn says:

    That picture is very helpful Paul. Doesn’t bode well for the two still missing. Hopefully they took refuge in a snow cave as well.

    Does anyone know if the weather has broken up there yet?

    You would think they would have had adequate time to reach the summit at this point – if they were starting early today or they would be close to the summit.

    This effort seems pretty well defined – the big wildcard what happened to the two that went for help.

  7. Paul says:

    The weather up there is awful today, with more dreadful forecasted for the balance of the week. One search team had to come off the mountain, 90 mph winds. KGW.com has the best updates, as they did on the Kim tragedy.

  8. glenn says:

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,235824,00.html

    Here is an update. The searchers came back off the mountain today due to weather.

    Thanks Paul – I will keep a close eye on KGW…

  9. glenn says:

    They are predicting 18 inches more snow and higher risk of avalanches.

  10. tara says:

    “He said the note detailed plans to take the route through the canyons on the north face, which would take the party up the right side of Eliot Glacier.”

  11. tara says:

    any good live webcams of mount hood?

  12. Paul says:

    There is an ODOT webcam at http://www.tripcheck.com that shows the pass at Government Camp, which is at about the 4000 foot level on Mt. Hood, but they are up much higher than that. Somewhere on KGW.com there is a Timberline Lodge webcam, that is at about 5000 feet. The weather here in PDX tonight is awful, heavy rain with gusty winds. I can’t imagine how hellish it must be up on the mountain.

  13. Neil says:

    I heard earlier that two of the climbers descended for help and left the third person, who’s injured, in a snow cave. I also heard/read that the authorities(?) were able to ping the cell phone of the injured person and determined he is somewhere around 10,300ft. Does anyone know if the climbers summited? If they did, is it possible the injured climber is on the south side and the other two climbers are descending the south face? If they are descending the south side, and they’re unfamiliar with the area, is it possible they would walk right past the turn off to Timberline and head down into (i think) Zig Zag glacier?

  14. glenn says:

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,235997,00.html

    Update this morning with more info. Another search planned for today.

  15. glenn says:

    Paul thanks for the link…yeah the weather is not looking so hot up there right now.

  16. Paul says:

    If they don’t find them today, it will be the weekend at the soonest before they get another chance. There are 3 big storms lined up and one for Thursday that will potentially have very high winds even in PDX (highest of the season thus far according to NWS), which means it will be a hurricane up on the mountain.

    There were some experienced climbers a few years back who made it well over a week in a snow cave, so there is still hope…so long as they hunker down. It is the guy who is by himself who is troubling, that and the other two – given when they supposedly left for help, should have made it off the mountain before these storms came in.

  17. glenn says:

    anybody have any new news on this?

  18. glenn says:

    Weather looks a little better at Government camp…

  19. tara says:

    latest news on fox is still missing….looked BRUTAL from the news clips.

  20. tara says:

    Okay- this morning a fox report states that they are still recieveing “pings” from the cell phone. Another cell company became involved this morning and can pinpoint the phone location to a matter of feet. They said they phone “moved” locations slightly so there’s hope.

  21. Paul says:

    Yes, but what is troubling is that the phone is still “alive” yet the last CALL from that phone came on Sunday, and at that point he said he was cold. He is almost at the summit & the weather has been just brutal. Unless they left him with a stove to melt drinking water, I don’t know. The freezing level has been going up and down at the same time it has been snowing heavily, resulting in very high avalanche danger. As it stands now, they aren’t really going to get a good chance to resume searching the upper mountain until the weekend with two big storms rolling in today and tomorrow. KGW is covering live a news conference at 9:00 a.m. today, video feed at: http://www.kgw.com

  22. glenn says:

    Thanks for the updates. I am digging for more info.

    Impressive that the cellphone in this type of cold still has battery left…it is my understanding the battery drains faster in the cold? Is my information on this incorrect?

    Paul you bring up a good point about the call…however a ping doesn’t mean you can make or receive a call – it just means the phone is pinging the tower for a location update – this is a perfect example of where the mobile companies could change the icon on the phone from voicemail to some indicator – we are coming – help is on the way. The voicemail indicator uses the smallest amount of bandwidth and is part of the text (SMS) layer of the phone communication.

  23. mapper says:

    wow…glenn that explains a lot of the very confusing actions of my phone when I am travelling out of my area, and how i sometimes receive texts or voicemails when the phone didn’t ring, but I get the message that I have a voicemail.

  24. tara says:

    I realize this isnt the thread for it but we are discussing SAR procedures so… They’ve pinpointed within 1/2 mile area where at least one of the guys is on Mt hood. They just cant get there. They said it was around the 7000 ft range… and the helicopters made it there. assuming all that is accurate (i know… big assumption)What about dropping provisions in the 1/2 mile area?

  25. tara says:

    They’ve pinpointed within 1/2 mile area where at least one of the guys is on Mt hood. They just cant get there. They said it was around the 7000 ft range… and the helicopters made it there. assuming all that is accurate (i know… big assumption)What about dropping provisions in the 1/2 mile area?

  26. Laurie says:

    No he is above 10,000 feet and they cannot get above 7,000 because of the weather…..

    http://www.kgw.com/news-local/stories/kgw_121206_news_hood_updates.128a6c1.html

  27. glenn says:

    (26)
    Thanks for the info. Amazing the technology being brought to aid in the effort.

  28. Paul says:

    They are no longer getting pings off the phone, indicating either the battery has gone or it is turned off. A storm with 100 mph winds at 10,000 feet, where he is holed up in a snow cave, is forecasted for Thursday evening. No signs today found of the other 2 who went for help. Not looking good.

  29. glenn says:

    I can’t even imagine how frustrated SAR must feel right now…they pretty much know where at least one of the climbers is and they just can’t get there.

    What a bummer!

    Only good news out of KGW is that they know he moved a fair amount of distance – so hopefully he is still alive and has created another snow cave for himself.

  30. glenn says:

    They have pulled all the searchers off the mountain. They were not able to get to Timberline.

    25 climbers in SAR…amazing!

  31. tara says:

    Those guys are EXTREME. I cant believe the determination of those guys.
    Okay- why am I shocked at media inaccuracies?
    Im going to go check out the latest… I missed the last press conference.

  32. glenn says:

    Yes the media should also discuss just how hard it is for those guys to do their jobs. They have to bring up all of their equipment for their own survival but they need everything else for a multitude of medical situations and the extraction of any survivors or recovery of those that do not.

  33. bamadad says:

    http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2006/12/13/tracing-a-climbers-footprints-in-cyberspace/
    Good article. Pray these guys are rescued, but weather makes it grim. These SAR grunts are magnificent.

  34. grod says:

    Following links in article posted #33…
    Interesting website, with one of the missing
    climbers posting requests for Mt Hood info.
    He did so last month…
    There is also a thread..where climbers and actual searchers are posting info.
    By far the best place for info I have found so far.
    I’m new here…will try to post the direct links…

    http://www.cascadeclimbers.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/ubb/showflat/Number/609605/page/1?PHPSESSID=ab617a52c83c1d7638fa0a41840c8c22#Post609605

  35. glenn says:

    Thanks Grod…I just read though the blog entries…amazing how much good intell is there for the searchers. Some of the climbers on the forum know the area well and have placed excellent suggestions.

    It is also interesting to note the first hand accounts from people that met the climbers the day of the ascent.

    They sound like excellent climbers but want to be as efficient as possible with their loads, etc.

    The conditions on the mountain make it sound like a different planet…really tough situation.

  36. glenn says:

    Presser about to start regarding climbers…you can view here:

    http://www.kgw.com/sharedcontent/VideoPlayer/videoPlayer.php?vidId=57406&live=yes

    If that link doesn’t work you can get to it from the home page of http://www.kgw.com

  37. glenn says:

    Tough to see Kelly James’s wife standing there at the presser…just brings it back into focus these people have families…etc.

  38. grod says:

    Yes Glen..It is a amazing to read the posts and links on that site.
    I found this place..(Joes)..last week while following the Kims story and read all posts…
    There was alot of good info and comments..so I figured I would try to return the favor when I came across this.
    I did not agree with alot of the things said during the Kims ordeal.Maybe thats cause I am a retired NYC fireman..and I know how the 2ed guessing can get out hand when tragedy strikes.
    I worked for 20 years in Bklyn..so my hopes and prayes go out to my fellow Brooklynite and his buds up on Hood.
    Fox news doing PC right now.

  39. glenn says:

    Interesting point made by media after the presser. States that a 911 call was attempted Monday AM and 911 responded with a text message.

    They have information that leads them to believe the text message was received on the phone but it is unlikely that it has been opened. I find that last part a little strange. Text messages are delivered and are resident on the phone they are not brought down from the network when you open them. If I remember correctly he has a T-Mobile phone and I am not aware of a capability to detect that a text message has been read by the phone. Unless the phone does some sort of ping back when a message is read.

    Also the phone was turned on late Tuesday night…

  40. Paul says:

    It is going to be Friday at the soonest before they can get to the guy near the summit. Even that effort could turn tragic as there has been so much snow and high wind this week that the avalanche danger on Hood is severe. Winds tonight will be 100 mph+ at the 10,000 foot elevation. Freezing level will be up over 10,000, then drop by Saturday to 1,000 (that is not a typo).

    Go to KGW.com & click on weather: then Live Cameras; then Mountains; there is a live feed from Timberline Lodge which gives you a good idea just how brutal it is up there today.

  41. Paul says:

    #40/Grod – You are EXACTLY the kind of person who SHOULD weigh in with an opinion over on the Kim thread. Given your experiences in life, your input and viewpoints could provide a balance perspective from someone who has actually been in similar situations.

  42. Paul says:

    p.s. Glenn, recognize and respect that you have experience in this arena as well.

  43. glenn says:

    I agree Paul…it would be nice to have a level head with experience in there.

  44. Paul says:

    Glenn

    Oregonian is running a story tomorrow about 3 teenage kids who survived 13 days (may have the # of days wrong, but it was a long time) in a snow cave on Mount Hood back in the mid-70s. Horrible conditions the whole while, searchers were about to give up when the weather finally broke and they emerged from their shelter in good shape.

    Difference is this group was traveling light while the teens had lots of food and gear. The weather tonight in PDX is hideous, I cannot imagine being up on that mountain in such a storm. I think I would expire from fright alone.

  45. glenn says:

    (46) That is inspiring news.
    (47) Thanks for the link Grod.

    Hopefully the other two hikers have found refuge in a snow cave as well or trekked back to Kelly and all three are together.

    Snow caves can actually provide adequate shelter for long periods of time given you have the resources to melt snow and other food items to give you minimum sustanance.

    The weather does sound and look horrible up there. I think the avalanches will play a big role in whether these guys get out alive or not.

    SAR has their hands full this time – I can’t imagine with all the equipment they have.

  46. glenn says:

    I found this on another blog…interesting to see the SAR cost factors. The paper is from 2001 and focuses on mountain rescue.

    Go to: http://www.americanalpineclub.org/pdfs/MRstudy.pdf

  47. glenn says:

    Susan posted this on the Kim’s search thread post (763)

    Thought it should go here as well. Thanks Susan.

    AOL has an interesting article about searches and who will pay:
    http://news.aol.com/topnews/articles/_a/searches-revive-debate-who-pays/20061215092409990001?ncid=NWS00010000000001

  48. glenn says:

    This is a news article link about the storm slamming the pac NW. 3 dead over 1,000,000 without power. Sounds as bad as a hurricane and with those wind speeds, technically it must be similar.

    http://www.breitbart.com/news/na/cp_n12159A.xml.html

  49. tara says:

    The following is text of a letter as read by Capt. Chris Bernard of the 304th Rescue Squad on Dec. 15. Bernard said rescuers found the note on Dec. 14 and that the missing climbers had written it.

    “Hello. We are three climbers: Jerry Cooke, Brian Hall and Kelly James. Attempting the north face today, Thursday, 12-7. Hiking in with gear. Attempt north face Friday and will descend at timberline. We have food, fuel, ropes, shovel, bivy sacks, heavy parkas, etc… We have experience on Rainier, Denali, South American expedition, etc…”

    HOPE!
    http://www.nbc4.tv/news/10546816/detail.html

  50. Paul says:

    The Timberline webcam is down due to a power failure, and the ODOT webcam at Govt. Camp is obscured by snow due to yesterdays storm. Still, they should be able to make more progress today than they have all week. At noon in PDX it is sunny with scattered clouds.

  51. joeduck says:

    Grod – excellent forum info, I’ll bump it to the main post…

    Some info here from a Mountaineer guy: http://thehendricksreport.wordpress.com/mt-hood-rescue-for-complete-news-and-articles-click-here/

  52. glenn says:

    (55) A lot of times immediately after a large storm the weather calms as the front has passed and pull in better weather behind it.

    Hopefully they will get to them soon.

  53. grod says:

    Hi Joe…
    Just to clarify…looks like the link ya bump to the main post is the thread that was started last month with one of the stranded climbers..Jerry Cooke of Bklyn..posted a few times under the name Fuggedaboudit looking for info on a nothface climb.
    There is another newer thread on the same website, (casscade climbers)that has had some of the rescue guys postings.
    Hope that clears things up…I will post both again here.

  54. tara says:

    Great 360 virtual tour of Mount Hood from various spots. Obviously on a CLEAR day….

    http://www.emilive.com/portals/337/tour/2117

    hope the link works.

  55. joeduck says:

    Grod – yes, thanks for that and I’ve fixed the main post to show the right link. I’m not even sure we should have a separate discussion going when there is an active forum for the topic, so if people have valuable insights be sure to post it over there as well.

  56. Paul says:

    Egad, there’s a permutation of “Observing” and “PacNWer” taking potshots at the climbers over on the Cascade Climbers forum. Where do they come from ?

  57. glenn says:

    (63) I believe the medical condition is called chronic idiopathic constipation and in very severe cases it just seems to finally come out the wrong end…thus resulting in such posts that you refer.

    but I digress…

  58. Paul says:

    64 – A lot of sanctimonious anger in those folks.

    Looks like tomorrow is the big push, they’ve closed off the mountain to backcounty use outside of the ski areas. Good luck to them!

  59. Paul says:

    One of the things about this case that frustrates many who live in Oregon is the fact that this group failed to take a locator unit with them. Some local history: in 1986 a large group from a local high school were trapped in similar conditions on the mountain and the majority of them, almost all teens, died of hypothermia by the time they were found in a snow cave. After that tragedy, in an effort to save future lives, a program was started wherein you can rent a locator unit for $5 at multitudes of locations on virtually every side of the mountain. $5. The program is well known, well advertised and climbers inquiring about climging Hood are encouraged to take them. It is not mandatory, however. Numerous lives have been saved because of their existence. The question comes up EVERY TIME this happens as to why someone would fail to carry such cheap insurance. It reminds me of people who drown when running whitewater without a lifejacket on – it defies common sense – but there are dozens of drowning in OR and WA every year attributable to that very reason.

  60. glenn says:

    (67)
    Were the rentals readily available this time of year?

    There weren’t any forms for them to fill out…they had to use a scrape of paper to detail their plans.

    These guys seem to do a lot right. I wonder why they didn’t use the locator?

  61. Paul says:

    Readily available at multiple locations, but it is $5/day so I was mistaken on that. Speculating here, but some people likely think a cell phone is enough, but batteries in cell phones aren’t designed for a protracted stay in a hostile environment, whereas MLUs are.

    There has been an ongoing debate here about making them mandatory for Hood. Some purists argue against it, but I have yet to read an argument from them I find compelling or pursuasive.

    Almost every time there is a speedy and happy resolution to a lost climber it involves them carrying an MLU. They have also saved the lives of a few folks caught in avalanches and buried.

  62. tara says:

    Paul-
    good point. A cell phone wont help you if your buried in an avalache.
    Any word on why they cancelled the 5 pm press conference?

  63. glenn says:

    (70) do you know the purpose of the presser was going to be?

  64. tara says:

    well, fox is reporting the 5 pm PC still on…

  65. Paul says:

    The live webcam on KGW.com at Timberline Lodge shows clear visibility all the way to the summit. I am surprised/discouraged there has been no news thus far.

  66. glenn says:

    is that 5pm PST?

  67. glenn says:

    Presser is on at 2pm PST…5PM EST

    http://www.katu.com/news/live/3882262.html

    That is the link.

  68. glenn says:

    Not much from the presser. Once again they stated if the climbers have all the gear with them then their chances of survival go way up.

    He also mentioned that even if they spot them it could take 5-6 hours to reach them.

    Winds are still 50+ on the mountain.

  69. thehendricksreport says:

    Hey guys,

    Just wanted to say thanks for linking my site up..you guys have some really good information going on here. First time I have seen this forum. Will link my viewers over here for additional info. Great job!

    http://thehendricksreport.wordpress.com

  70. Pingback: New details of climb emerging through Mt. Hood Rescue Forum « The Adventurist

  71. glenn says:

    In the article they are reporting the spotted a piece of climbing equipment about 300 feet from the top. They are taking this as a good sign.

  72. glenn says:

    They will be at summit by 10am PST today…less than 1 hour from now!!!

  73. joeduck says:

    Thx Glenn … these OregonLive links may not last but currently goes to Oregonlive update as of 9:30am
    http://www.oregonlive.com/newslogs/oregonian/index.ssf?/mtlogs/olive_oregonian_news/archives/2006_12.html#216509

  74. glenn says:

    They have narrowed down the search site…anamolies in the snow and/or climbing equipment which are focusing their efforts. They expect major developments within the next few hours.

    I also want to say that the family members speaking about their perspective during the presser really bring it home to anyone that has the priviledge to see them speak.

  75. glenn says:

    BREAKING NEWS: Searchers find signs of climbers
    A helicopter surveying the Mount Hood summit this morning has captured images of what appears to be a snow cave, scattered equipment and what looks like frozen tracks in the snow.

    Search organizers plan to airlift pararescuers to the summit by helicopter so they can make their way to the area by foot.

    http://www.oregonlive.com/newslogs/oregonian/index.ssf?/mtlogs/olive_oregonian_news/archives/2006_12.html#216538

  76. glenn says:

    Live presser coming up at KGW

    here is the link:
    http://www.kgw.com/sharedcontent/VideoPlayer/videoPlayer.php?vidId=57406&live=yes

    Please note this link will probably only be valid during the presser. Through this link however you will find links to previous videos on the left hand side of the page.

  77. tara says:

    glenn what time?

  78. glenn says:

    already happened…katu broadcast it. It is over now…just confirming they have spotted something that looks like a snow cave and are sending people to the site.

  79. Susan says:

    This rescue mission is amazing to watch. And the OregonLive.com press coverage is very impressive as well.

  80. glenn says:

    Very close to the cave now…it won’t be long. Hope they are alive!

  81. Maggie says:

    Just heard on KGW that no one found in cave…

  82. Stan says:

    Disappointing.

  83. Maggie says:

    Press conference KGW.com now (2:15pst)

  84. Allen says:

    Evidently, sleeping bag, 2 ice axes, rope found at cave site. Tracks lead up to summit and disappear. SAR climbers have to leave summit @ 4pm PST. Darkness starts around 4:30.

  85. glenn says:

    sounds like whoever was in the cave left the cave and tried to descend the south side.

    Can’t believe they left a sleeping bag behind…

    Doesn’t sound good.

  86. tara says:

    heard that the pararescue team was prepared to spend the night. pulling ground teams out at 4.

  87. Maggie says:

    Not sure if the live kgw.com video is working, but it is on my TV. One encouraging bit of info is that a man who survived on Mt. Hood for 13 days back in the 1970’s said he, too, built SEVEN snow caves during that time, so not finding someone in this one might just mean that other ones could have been built elsewhere once whether got better.

  88. Maggie says:

    sorry – I really do know that whether should be spelled as weather, brain fade…

  89. Allen says:

    (ambiguity about sleeping BAG or PAD)

    CNN – from scanner –

    Found in cave –

    2 axes
    Additional ice tools
    Sleeping pad
    Anchor straps
    Additional equipment (ropes)

    When crews got to cave, they went to adjacent area and dug all the way to rock, therefore they feel there is no additional cave in area.

  90. tara says:

    oh gosh… one deceased person

  91. tara says:

    found inside snowcave. Fox news

  92. glenn says:

    yep…just heard…terrible.

  93. tara says:

    not identified yet. but they must know who it is because they’ve notified family.

  94. Pingback: Missing at sea in Oregon « Joe Duck

  95. joeduck says:

    Bad news as reports are getting confirmed that one has been found dead in a snow cave. This is news feed from KATU:
    http://www.katu.com/news/live/3882262.html

  96. Paul says:

    It is the climber who was camped high and left by the other two as they went for rescue.

  97. Paul says:

    Kelly James…reported on KGWs broadcast.

  98. glenn says:

    (109) I haven’t seen that anywhere yet…

  99. Maggie says:

    110 Me, either – I’ve been watching local news and on their websites, but they are still just saying no identification. If ID is known, I just hope that they’ve been able to at least advise the families.

  100. tara says:

    They just said itll be tomorrow because they absolutely do not want to make a mistake.

  101. tara says:

    THe reporter thoought it must be terrible for the families to go to bed not knowing but the sheriff confirmed that the families dont know and it probably wont be confirmed until tomorrow

  102. tara says:

    though most likely Its kelly james because it was in the location of the cell ping.

  103. Paul says:

    Other local stations are not indentifying, and KGWs website is still saying unidentified, perhaps they were speculating and I heard part of it (was running heard on little ones while trying to listen) but I though them say it was him. That’s almost surely is who it is either eay…just down from the other cave, which was at the location where the pings came from and where James called from.

    He left his ice axe behind, he must have been in a bad way. A climber would never leave that behind in their right mind.

  104. tara says:

    I think they said they speculated that he left the first snow cave for a time then wanted to go back but couldnt find it so he was forced to dig another one. Just speculation but it makes sense.

  105. Paul says:

    Have an e-mail into a climbing friend of mine as to why climbers often don’t carry the MLUs (Mt Hood Locator Units) I referenced earlier, will post his response. I just can’t fathom why someone would knowingly forgo such a great aid to SAR.

  106. grod says:

    TEARSSSSSSS

  107. Paul says:

    Even the experts wonder why no MLU:

    http://beloblog.com/KGW_Blogs/reporters/

    …not sure if this link stays active…it is the sunday recap by an expert climber.

  108. grod says:

    I AM CRYIN TONITE…

  109. glenn says:

    Paul they have positively identified him as Kelly James. Read it on KATU this AM.

    http://www.katu.com/news/4943497.html

  110. tara says:

    uggg. cant imagine what they are going through…..

  111. Paul says:

    There is an account in todays Oregonian about past fatalities. There is not a direct link, at the home page (www.oregonlive.com) it is under “deadly history”. What struck me about the history is how many of the presumed fatalities have never been found. Aware that that happens, just didn’t remember that Hood had so many like that. Hopefully that won’t be the case with the missing 2.

  112. joeduck says:

    The latest as of 11:30am Monday from the Oregonlive reports is not encouraging about the fate of the 2 missing climbers:

    Sheriff fears two other climbers fell
    For the first time, Hood River County Sheriff Joe Wampler spoke publicly this morning about his working theory of what happened to the three climbers:

    The three men – Brian Hall, 37, of Texas, Kelly James, 48, of Texas, and Jerry �Nikko� Cooke, 36, of New York – left Tilly Jane and climbed the right gully to the Mount Hood summit. They reached the peak and climbed along the south summit ridge looking for the entry to an area of the mountain known as the Pearly Gates on the south climbing route.

    But a storm moved in and made it hard to see so, together, they broke off the east side of the mountain and dropped to an area 300 feet above the Newton Clark Glacier.

    They dug a cave and all three remained there Friday night.

    On Saturday, Hall and Cooke left James behind. Where they headed – back toward the summit or down the mountain – is not known. Wampler speculated they had an accident after leaving James.

    The area where they likely had an accident is especially perilous and has been known to trip up climbers, Wampler said.

  113. Paul says:

    There is an excellent video clip on KGW.com, about 5 minutes long, that gives more detail on Joe’s post above.

  114. glenn says:

    http://www.oregonlive.com/cgi-bin/prxy/accessor/nph-repository-cache.cgi/base/pdf_captions/1166505904155620.pdf

    Shows analysis of climbing route and data points learned so far.

    Also it has been reported that Kelly had a camera on him and it has photos of the two other climbers equipped with daypacks essentially looking they were planning a very rapid descent to acquire medical assistance for Kelly.

    It is reported that Kelly had an obvious injury – two different reports I have seen one said arm and the other stated shoulder.

    Looks like they were planning a rapid descent down Eliot Glacier and the weather turned on them pretty badly. Without the proper survival equipment and the amount of time that has passed it really doesn’t look good for them.

    What a shame…

  115. Karen G. says:

    Sad to hear the news about these climbers. I understand that, in the past, a climber survived 13 days in a snow cave and Wampler’s statement “You can last a long time in a hole. So we are looking for a hole.”

    Has there been any information as to why Mr. James perished if he was hunkered down in a snow cave?

  116. Paul says:

    He was almost at the summit (very cold); he was injured; the weather was horrific…and we don’t know if he had a stove to melt snow-water, in which case he was dehydrated.

  117. Karen G. says:

    Thanks for the reply Paul. That certainly would explain the other climbers’ hurry to get down the hill. I don’t know much about mountaineering….

  118. Paul says:

    KGW tonight said pictures developed from the deceased climbers camera suggest they were traveling very light, probably too light for this time of year and the weather they ultimately encountered.

  119. glenn says:

    http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=412fd72a-fda5-4603-a7ae-ac635a1eb0b2&k=11614

    Read this article today…not sure how accurate or valid it is but the story is interesting nonetheless.

    This is the headline of the story:
    Japanese man in virtual ‘hibernation’ survives 3 weeks without food or water

  120. glenn says:

    Rescue operation on Mount Hood is over. They are now moving into a recovery operation.

    It is looking like they were swept off the mountain in high winds and probably had to cut their safety lines to get out of the wind zone and took their chances with the fall…in high wind like that is would be nearly impossible to accomplish anything while getting smashed against the mountain from the wind. It really must have been horrible for them.

    I think they knew they didn’t have the necessary equipment to ride it and they wanted desperately to get off that mountain for themselves and for Kelly.

    Just a very sad story and tough for these families with less than 1 week from Christmas!

  121. grod says:

    Looks like Sheriff will hold a PC any minute. It is 4:16 EST right now.

  122. glenn says:

    Here is the link to the presser…about to start…

    NOTE THIS LINK WILL NOT SHOW PRESSER AFTER ITS OVER.

    http://www.katu.com/news/live/3882262.html

  123. glenn says:

    Presser delayed for 15 minutes (4:38 PM EST) now.

    I think it is very admirable of the family members requesting the searchers to stop so they don’t risk their lives. Unbelievable and impressive.

  124. joeduck says:

    Thanks for the updates Glenn – sad news for all.

    Oregonian/Oregon Live:
    Wednesday, December 20, 2006
    UPDATE: Search for climbers now a “recovery effort”
    Hood River County Sheriff Joe Wampler said today the search for two missing climbers on Mount Hood is now a “recovery effort.”

    “We’ve done everything we can at this point,” Wampler said, after returning from a airplane ride around the mountain earlier this morning.

    Wampler’s decision ended a dramatic nine-day search for three climbers who went missing on Mount Hood on Dec. 11.

    Earlier this week, the body of one was found in a snow cave near the summit of the 11,240-foot mountain — the second-most climbed in the world.

    Earlier today, the search for Brian Hall of Texas and Jerry “Nikko” Cooke of New York was scaled back dramatically with no searchers working above the tree line.

  125. glenn says:

    (137) During the presser it was interesting to hear the Sheriff discuss that they wanted to do another debriefing after they had time to discuss the problems, etc…so they could circle back with the press and discuss how they did things, what went right, wrong, etc…at least that it the jist of what I thought he was saying. Grod did you get that feeling?

    If so, this is a very positive step in some of the changes in Oregon on the SAR process.

  126. grod says:

    Hi Glen…
    I am sure they will do that.
    It is SOP for any SAR,Fire Dept,PD..ect.
    Each individual will write a detailed report
    of their actions,and then supervisors will have their own standard reports.
    I am sure that they have already critiqued their
    tactics with each other…again SOP to see if
    you might have missed something.
    It is most important to do this in a timely fashion..small details can be forgotten..very quickly.
    All of this info will be used to perform an overview of the entire operation.
    I think they know that the weather is going south on them
    again..for the next few days. It’s a shame…but the
    weather seems have been the biggest factor in this operation.Lets just hope they recover the other two
    before too long…and give the familys a small amount of peace.

  127. grod says:

    Here are some pics that one of the
    Summit rescue teams took.They really
    show jow tough an operation this was…and
    the great effort these SAR did.They deserve
    a huge…ATTABOY.

    http://flickr.com/photos/nickpope/sets/72157594427278113/detail/

  128. grod says:

    Also some short videos of one rescue team on the mountain..

    http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=nickpope

  129. glenn says:

    (140) Thanks for the info Grod…I am familiar with the detail reports…but you certainly bring to light the point that this needs to be done quickly so that facts are not forgotten.

    I was interested in your thoughts about the follow up presser regarding the finds of their internal assessment…that is not something I have seen frequently…

    (141) Amazing pictures…thanks for the post.

  130. Wendy Stone says:

    They need to check the left side area.

  131. glenn says:

    (144) Hi Wendy…why do you suggest that?

  132. glenn says:

    (146) wow…Grod…that looks like some pretty hairy stuff.

  133. Allen says:

    **Governor’s Oregon Wireless Interoperability Network

    Here is an article from the Eugene Register-Guard today. I’m including the text, since the URL would not be valid later.

    During the earlier Kim family search, there was mention of establishing a communication network to assist in SAR efforts. Joe Duck, if that discussion has developed into another thread, would you include this info over there, if not already done?

    —————————

    Governor to review search, rescue efforts
    By Jeff Barnard
    The Associated Press
    Published: Thursday, December 21, 2006

    GRANTS PASS – After two high-profile searches in Oregon this month ended with dead victims, Gov. Ted Kulongoski wants the state to explore ways of helping local agencies better communicate and coordinate during rescue efforts.

    The governor also is concerned that county sheriff’s departments, which are responsible for conducting search and rescue operations in Oregon, may not be funded adequately, spokeswoman Anna Richter-Taylor said.

    “Maybe what we need to do is to look a little bit broader and to see if there’s a different relationship, a partnership between the state and the counties, so that we can help the counties in some of these operations,” Kulongoski told Oregon Public Broadcasting.
    advertisement

    Kulongoski’s spokeswoman said the governor wanted to review after-incident reports to figure out where the state can better support efforts on the ground by the local communities.

    “Whether it is communications, helping establish a system of centralized communications, or around equipment, the state wants to do everything it can to be supportive,” she said from Salem.

    Internal reviews of searches generally are conducted by the agencies involved and shared with the state, said Georges Kleinbaum, search and rescue coordinator for Oregon.

    Earlier this month, a San Francisco family got lost deep in the Rogue River Canyon in Josephine County after trying to drive a backcountry road through the Siskiyou National Forest during a snowstorm to reach the coast.

    After being stranded for a week without rescue, James Kim hiked out for help, but left the road and was found dead of exposure in a creek.

    Two days after he left, his wife and two young daughters were found by a local helicopter pilot who was following a hunch and not involved in the formal search. The family hired its own helicopters to join in the search, and there was evidence some information that could have helped focus the search fell through the cracks.

    In another search and rescue operation, one of three climbers missing high on Mount Hood in a howling snowstorm was found dead Sunday in a snow cave. The other two, Brian Hall of Dallas and Jerry “Nikko” Cooke of New York, were missing and feared dead after apparently trying to climb down to get help for their companion, Kelly James of Dallas, who had dislocated his shoulder.

    Kulongoski’s budget for 2007 includes $561 million to establish the Oregon Wireless Interoperability Network, Richter-Taylor said.

    The money would go toward building 54 communications towers around the state to allow first-responders from state, local and federal agencies involved in emergency operations to talk to each other.

  134. glenn says:

    Hey they like my idea Joe…what do you know someone is actually thinking out there. Just hope the put the stake in the ground and build out something like wiMax…it is the future and will enable much more sophisticated solutions to be deployed during all kinds of events including tourism.

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  137. glenn says:

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,239398,00.html

    Article about memorial service held for Kelly James by his friends and fellow climbers.

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  139. Theresa says:

    Are they ever going to try and find the bodies of the two missing hikers, or are they going to just forget about it until someone or something stumbles on them?

  140. JoeDuck says:

    Theresa I think there is no more searching, official or otherwise, though I’m not sure. I think by this time it would be very hard to do anything to find them.

  141. Johnny says:

    I think they can find them now. I can feel them looking down up on the mountain.

  142. gorilla says:

    they met their faith on mount hood. they were detined to die on the mountain. nobody can stop them. they were dead. dont waste tax payers money to find their bodies. leave them where they belong

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