Rescuers use small break in weather to resume Mt. Hood search - KPTV - FOX 12

Rescuers use small break in weather to resume Mt. Hood search

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Search conditions weren't ideal on the mountain Monday. Search conditions weren't ideal on the mountain Monday.
Kinley Adams Kinley Adams
Crews had no luck Sunday night in the search for Kinley Adams. Crews had no luck Sunday night in the search for Kinley Adams.

Rescuers resumed the search for a missing climber on Mount Hood on Tuesday morning, taking advantage of a small break in the weather.

Family members said 59-year-old Kinley Adams, a dentist in the Salem area, is an experienced hiker who was training for a trip to Nepal, but he hasn't been heard from in three days.

Crews ran into hazardous weather on the mountain Monday and had to suspend the search for the day.

On Tuesday at 5 a.m., a snow cat set out to reach Crater Rock and the Reid Headwall, where rescuers will start to search the area if they consider it safe for climbing.

A second group of climbers will head out at 8 a.m. to search the lower elevations. Volunteers with a spotting scope will climb up the area of Ramona Falls toward Reid Glacier in hopes of finding Adams.

Clackamas County deputies and rescuers said they're still optimistic that Adams is alive and is just in need of help.

"I'd give anyone experienced and properly prepared a chance," said Jay Chambers, from Portland Mountain Rescue, on Monday. "I think they could make it through this."

The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office reports Adams' empty vehicle was found by family members in the parking lot at Timberline Lodge on Saturday night, six hours after he was due to be home.

Adams apparently checked in at Timberline Lodge and registered in the climbing log that he would be climbing the Leuthold Couloir route, a route that he has climbed before. He had a "throwaway" cell phone with him, deputies said.

The Sheriff's Office says searchers were able to summit the mountain Sunday via the Leuthold Couloir route but did not locate any evidence of Adams. They were forced to return to the lodge Sunday night due to near white out weather conditions that appeared to be worsening.

They dealt with similar conditions Monday around 9,000 feet. New soft, wet snow created additional hazards, deputies said, and they had to suspend the search until weather improves.

"(It's) very low visibility - probably 5, 6 feet at times (with) wet, blowing snow," Chambers said. "You want goggles on, (it) burns your eyes, just overall bad conditions - windy, hard to see."

A helicopter is on standby for the search.

Among the searchers out this week were rescuers from Portland Mountain Rescue, Corvallis Mountain Rescue, Seattle Mountain Rescue, Mountain Wave Communications, Pacific Northwest Search and Rescue, 304th Air Force Reserve, American Medical Response Reach and Treat Team, and Hood River Crag Rats.

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