Man from Japan believed to be missing on Mount St. Helens - KPTV - FOX 12

Man from Japan believed to be missing on Mount St. Helens

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Yosuke Onishi, photo taken Nov. 26 near Cougar Yosuke Onishi, photo taken Nov. 26 near Cougar

Investigators are asking for help locating a missing man from Japan believed to have been attempting to climb Mount St. Helens.

Yosuke Onishi, 26, of Japan, set out on Nov. 27 with hopes of climbing the mountain, possibly from Climber's Bivouac, according to deputies.

No one has heard from him since.

Skamania County search and rescue efforts have been unsuccessful in locating Onishi on or around the mountain.

A Cowlitz County deputy located a woman at a hostel in Portland who had hitchhiked with him to Cougar on Nov. 26. She said she left the area the following day and believed Onishi was intent on getting a ride up to Mount St. Helens.

The owner of the Lakeshore Store and Deli reported seeing the man the morning of Nov. 27, along with two other people, a man with dark hair and a woman who appeared to be of Asian descent. They had a small white dog that may have been a poodle in a gray or light brown car.

The two people returned to the store later that morning without Onishi, according to the shop's owner, and said Onishi was "still up there." The owner said the pair wanted to let someone know because they were a little concerned about him.

Deputies said Onishi borrowed snow shoes from an employee at the Lone Fir Motel. He also left a sleeping bag at the climber's registration desk, but on Nov. 30, that sleeping bag was gone. It's unknown who picked it up.

Numerous climbers have been up and down the mountain since Nov. 27, but there have been no reports of a stranded, injured or ill-equipped climber. Deputies said they also checked the area where most disoriented hikers are usually found.

Deputies are hoping to identify and interview the couple who gave Onishi a ride up to the mountain on Nov. 27. If anyone knows them or anything about this case, call 360-577-3092.

Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Cowlitz Crime Stoppers at 360-577-1206.

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