Our life is always deeper than we know, is always more divine than it seems, and hence we are able to survive degradations and despairs which otherwise must engulf us.
~ William James (1842-1910)
The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office
Jim Strovink, Detective
Office of Public Information
12700 SE 82nd Avenue, Clackamas, Oregon 97015
News Release for December 15, 2009 12:32 a.m.
Monday, December 14, 2009 at 6:30 p.m. the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, ongoing search and rescue effort on Mount Hood, has paused for the evening.
Early Monday morning, weather conditions and avalanche conditions on Mount Hood appeared destined to halt rescue efforts; however, the weather conditions did improve, bringing clear visibility to the very top of the mountain around 9:00 a.m.
This improved weather brought a swift response from rescue personnel, enabling the launch of an Oregon Army National Guard helicopter, UH-60 Black Hawk, from Salem, Oregon.
This helicopter landing zone -- situated at the Timberline Lodge parking lot -- provided an opportunity for members of Portland Mountain Rescue, to climb aboard and accompany this National Guard flight crew for an estimated 90 minute aerial view of Mount Hood. This resulted in a thorough view of all the critical areas search crews were anxious to examine for this search. Aboard this craft was Portland Mountain Rescue mountaineer Monty Smith, who said, "This clearing of the weather and ability to hover over a wide area of the mountain was very thorough and advantageous – the visibility was remarkable.
In addition to this air asset, two, four man search teams representing the Hood River Crag Rats were deployed to the Reid Glacier area for an expanded ground search.
Also, eight members of the 304th Rescue Squadron – U.S. Air Force, based in Portland, was on scene expanding the ground search on Mount Hood.
In spite of this extensive air and ground search accomplished today, no trace of the two missing climbers was detected by these searchers.
The National Weather Service, incident meteorologist, assigned to this ongoing mission is reporting an additional, more severe weather pattern for the mountain on Tuesday – expected to bring large amounts of snow to the mountain.
Sheriff Craig Roberts was on the mountain today and met with family and searchers. Sheriff Roberts emphasized, "This remains an active search and rescue mission, and the Sheriff's Office remains dedicated to this rescue mission."
The Oregon State Medical Examiners Office contacted the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office earlier in the day, providing the autopsy results concerning the deceased climber, Luke Gullberg, age 26; who was discovered by searchers Saturday morning on Reid Glacier. The Medical Examiner's Office informed the Sheriff's Office, Luke Gullberg died as a result of exposure. The deceased is reported to have not sustained any life threatening injuries and died as a result of exposure.
The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, Search and Rescue Coordinators are assembling next on Tuesday morning at 7:00 a.m. to assess the present weather conditions and plan the next stage of this search effort. [END]
photo: Mount Hood Climb - party descending from the Pearly Gates via Creative Commons License