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Does the mountain ever give up her dead?


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On where they ended up....must admit I've been wondering myself when some unsuspecting climber on the north side might find something melted out......my guess is that they're entombed on upper reaches of the Elliot Glacier. Being the north side, it'll take longer to melt out in that locale....of course there's always the possibility they ended up in a crevasse, which then in that case, the answer to your question would be probably be 'no.'


As far as I know there are a number of climbers on Hood that have simply disappeared, never to be seen again. Sort of hard to imagine, but it happens. And on mountains like Rainier, it's much more common. I think it was in the early eighties or so that 12 or 13 (or more?) climbers were hit by ice just below Ingraham IceFall and buried and sealed in the crevasses below to this day....pretty grim.


Interestingly, on Adams a couple years ago, they finally recovered the body of a climber that had gone missing in 1980. So, it may take a while unfortunately.



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  • 3 weeks later...



[interestingly, on Adams a couple years ago, they finally recovered the body of a climber that had gone missing in 1980. So, it may take a while unfortunately.]


As I remeber the missing guys brother new Adams had a very dry winter and early hot summer. He did his homework, It was a winter climb and they did find a tent and searched for him in 1980.

The brother came here from back east in the summer of 2000 or 2001.

Some of the searchers from 1980 came and they looked for the body for some time.

I think they were pretty well done after Labor Day. Then some guy on his way down in mid September saw boot in some ice below the lunch counter.

They were able to retrive the body,but the weather went cold and wet early that year. They even had bad conditions getting him out.

Any way it was quite a story and I am sure I messed up some facts.






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With the Adams recovery, a small plane had gone down on the mountain in the same general area a year or so before the brother was lost. The previous year from his recovery, portions of the plane melted out of the base of glacier. This supposedly gave a indication of the time of transit for an object through the glacier and thus hope that the climber might be soon to emerge.

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Associated Press


Seven months after three climbers died during a storm on Oregon's Mount Hood, rescue workers are making plans to search for the bodies of two of them.


Kelly James, 48, of Dallas died of hypothermia in a snow cave on the north side of the mountain, and his body was airlifted from just below the 11,239-foot summit last December. It's believed they went to get help for James after the three reached the summit on Dec. 8, and something went amiss.


"We'd like to bring some closure to the families," said Chief Deputy Jerry Brown of the Hood River County sheriff's department, which coordinated search efforts in December.


Search teams on July 21 will conduct a search at lower elevations, up to about 7,000 feet, on the chance that Hall and Cooke made it that far down and "ran out of gas at the end," Brown said.


On Sept. 8, Brown said, as a training session for the Oregon Mountain Rescue Council, about 100 searchers will head for the area where attention was focused most heavily in December: the Eliot Glacier, where the pair may have fallen, or been swept by the wind, as much as 2,400 feet.


"That will be our priority search area," he said.


Brown said questions that went unanswered after the search was called off remain: What, for example, hampered James?


"It appears from everything that two individuals were helping one individual along," he said, and the assumption is that James was being helped. But an autopsy revealed no broken or dislocated bones to impede him.


A Dec. 10 phone call James placed to his family did not reveal exactly what had gone wrong, Brown said.


As for Hall and Cooke, the most important point is that they were in a hurry, Brown said.


"When they left up there, they had a high sense of urgency," he said. "They were trying to get Kelly some help."


Search and rescue personnel couldn't be sure of the route taken by Hall and Cooke, Brown said. They may have decided the north side was too dangerous, headed back up the mountain and tried to take an easier route down the south side.


Brown said members of the party had a history of stashing equipment along their climbing routes, jettisoning weight they could pick up later on the way back down. Searchers in September, he said, will try to find out whether they did so in December, in hopes that will provide clues to what happened.

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  • 2 weeks later...

From today's Oregonian:


Pile of gear 3 climbers left behind is discovered


Mount Hood - "They were really hurting" without survival equipment, sheriff says; the remaining two bodies aren't found

Sunday, July 22, 2007


The Oregonian

COOPER SPUR -- Two veteran search and rescue volunteers shook their heads Saturday as they surveyed the pile of equipment Kelly James, Brian Hall and Jerry "Nikko" Cooke left behind during their fatal December climb up Mount Hood.


Two sleeping bags, foam pads, waterproof bivouac/tent bags, a stove, shovel and other emergency equipment covered a surface the size of a bed.


"Seeing their equipment, they were really hurting," said Hood River County Sheriff Joe Wampler. He said it looked as if the men left most of their survival equipment behind, but he didn't know what they had taken with them.


About 130 search and rescue volunteers from at least four counties spent Saturday on a recovery mission, searching for the bodies of Hall, 37, of Dallas, Texas, and Cooke, 36, of New York City. Rescuers found the body of James, 48, of Dallas, Texas, in a snow cave in December. He had died of hypothermia.


Searchers knew about the equipment from hikers who had shared a warming hut at the Tilly Jane campground with the three men in December, but they couldn't find it at the time.


Saturday morning, a search and rescue group found the full backpack and additional equipment behind loose boards on an A-frame structure at the Tilly Jane campground, said Portland Mountain Rescue volunteer Jeff Scheetz.


It is not uncommon for hikers to stash excess equipment before a climb, but the three men left behind too much, said Scheetz, an 18-year veteran.


"It tells me, these folks were climbing as fast as they could with no plan to bivouac (spend the night in a temporary shelter)," he said. "To leave one pack behind indicates they consolidated two packs for three people."


The equipment, however, revealed nothing about what went wrong on the mountain Dec. 8 as the three men descended after presumably reaching the summit. The only clue is a phone call James made Dec. 10 to his wife from a snow cave at 11,240-feet, saying Hall had gone for help. An autopsy showed James had suffered no broken or dislocated bones.


Authorities believe all three men spent the night in a snow cave before Hall and Cooke started down the mountain for help.


Saturday's search concentrated on elevations below 6,500 feet, but volunteers searched some areas at the 8,500-foot level before clouds blanketed the mountain. Wampler said that if the men fell, they might be at the higher elevation in the Eliot and Newton glacier area, which is still covered with snow.


A second search/training is planned for September at higher elevations using technical climbers, such as the Hood River Crag Rats. The cost for the two searches is expected to be less than $5,000.


Wampler said the extra equipment might not have changed the outcome for the climbers, given the blizzards that raked the mountain for days after the men disappeared. But he believes the men might have been able to stay together longer in the snow cave, leaving them in better condition to hike out or to be found.


"It would have knowingly increased their chances," he said.

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  • 4 weeks later...

i was on top of hood the last week of november in '06.


17 gruling hours of white-out, extreme winds, and very scary chunks of ice blowing down through the gates.


it was my first alpine climb, solo. I am 24, and saved and trained for 6 months, in yes... Dallas Texas; i have dreamed about being on a moutain since i was a kid. mount hood was my first time above 9,000 while not in an aircraft.


footsteps were filling up with snow faster than i could re-trace, as the course upwards often is not straight. the topo and compass became essential.


the wind nearly blew me off me feet a few times above 10,000 ft. i did not stand while on the summit ridge, but made it, and then spent 4 hours of very, very slow glissading to the top of palmer.




the point is, a compass, topographical map, and flash-light (and standard mountaineering gear) lead me up and down without more than 8 feet of visibility.



Was there point to achieve the summit in order to reach the south face? ...which is pretty much the easiest route within 5,000 miles.



why did they get lost? we are talking experienced climbers here.



Has anyone and experience on the north face route? is the grade to high to try to ascend in rough weather? was the south face their only hope?


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  • 4 weeks later...

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