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Archive for Tuesday, December 12, 2006

3 climbers missing on Mount Hood

December 12, 2006

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— Rescue teams headed up the flanks of treacherous Mount Hood on Monday to search for three climbers reported missing in heavy snow, but were ordered off the mountain when conditions became too dangerous.

Officials described the three men as experienced but said none had climbed Mount Hood before.

The mother of Kelly James, 48, of Dallas, told authorities he had called his son on a cell phone Sunday to say he was stranded in a snow cave just below the summit of the 11,239-foot peak and his companions had gone for help.

Rescuers were unable to re-establish cell phone contact with James, and there was no sign of the other men, identified as Brian Hall, 37, of Dallas, and Jerry "Nikko" Cooke, 36, of New York.

Snow was falling heavily Monday at a lodge where the three men were supposed to meet friends on Friday or Saturday. Up to 18 inches of snow was expected through today, along with wind gusts of 55 mph that will reduce visibility and raise the risk of avalanches.

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