Search for climbers on US mountain ends; two presumed dead

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Mount Hood and Trillium Lake

Officials working on finding the two missing climbers on Oregon's Mount Hood have sadly given up the search for the two men, Brian Hall (age 37) and Jerry Cooke (age 36). Over ten feet of snow has fallen on Mt. Hood since the search began, and " conditions can be unforgiving this time of year" according to local sheriff Joe Wampler.

Another man, Kelly James (age 48) was found earlier in a snow cave on the mountain. Results from tests and an autopsy showed that James had died of hypothermia, a condition which results from prolonged exposure to cold and wind. Authorities report that James may have dislocated his shoulder sometime during the climb.

Sheriff Wampler was continually working on the case, although several volunteers had returned to their normal jobs and lives. When Wampler made the announcement, he added, "I feel good about what I did. I wanted to do what I could for the family. You start something you want to finish it."