Search crews locate lost hiker who spent the night on Mt. Hood - KPTV - FOX 12

Search crews locate lost hiker who spent the night on Mt. Hood

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Search crews locate lost hiker on Mount Hood. Search crews locate lost hiker on Mount Hood.
Search & Rescue team member gears up to search for missing hiker Search & Rescue team member gears up to search for missing hiker
MOUNT HOOD, OR (KPTV) -

Search crews located a lost hiker who built a snow cave and spent the night on Mount Hood. 

Christian Houck, 51, of Seattle, called 911 around 2 p.m. Monday to report that he was lost.

Houck told dispatchers he hiked above the Palmer Glacier and had gotten off-course on his way back to Timberline Lodge.

The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office said avalanche danger and stream-crossings forced them to suspend the search Monday night but they resumed the rescue effort at first light Tuesday morning. 

Crews were able to contact Houck around 10 p.m. Monday and told him to take shelter for the night. 

Deputies said Tuesday morning that they were able to get three pings from Houck's cell phone overnight and had a good idea of where he was located.

The search and rescue coordinator told FOX 12 they were able to reach the Houck again on his phone just after 8 a.m. Tuesday. 

Houck said he had built himself a snow cave overnight and was waiting inside the cave for rescuers to find him.

He added that he had marked the snow cave to make it easier to see. 

Crews were able to take a snowcat to area on the backside of the mountain and were planning on skiing closer to Houck. 

Before 10 a.m., searchers located the empty snow cave. About an hour later, a search plane from the Hood River County Sheriff's Office spotted someone in Zigzag Canyon.

The plane guided search teams to the man, who was identified as Houck.

He was not hurt and was able to ski back to Timberline Lodge with the search teams. 

Volunteers from Mountain Wave Emergency Communications, Portland Mountain Rescue, Pacific Northwest Search and Rescue and the U.S. Air Force 304th Rescue Squadron, the Hood River Crag Rats and the Hood River County Sheriff's Office all responded to the scene as part of the search efforts.

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