Storm hampers search for lost Mt. Hood climber

Will resume Monday if weather breaks

MT. HOOD, Ore. - An experienced climber who failed to return from a trip up Mt. Hood prompted a search Sunday by volunteers who reached the mountain's summit, but found no sign and had to turn back as the weather worsened, authorities said.

The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office said it was notified by family members around 9 p.m. Saturday that the Salem man, due to return home around 3 p.m., had not shown up.

His vehicle was found parked at the Timberline Lodge parking lot, they said.

The climber registered in the climbing log at Timberline Lodge, deputies said, and indicated he would be climbing the Leuthold Couloir route.

He is believed to be an experienced climber, deputies said, and has climbed this route before.

The sheriff's search team was able to summit the mountain via the Leuthold Couloir route but found no sign of the man, whose name is expected to be released Monday.

Due to worsening weather conditions, searchers returned to the lodge after reaching the summit. Searchers reported a near whiteout and worsening climbing conditions.

The search coordinators were making plans to search again Monday, if conditions allow.

Volunteer searchers from Portland Mountain Rescue, Mountain Wave Communications, American Medical Response Reach and Treat Team, and Hood River Crag Rats participated in Sunday's search effort. Other volunteer groups are expected to join the search on Monday.

The sheriff's office said more information should be released early Monday.

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