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article imageWed Evening: Search Stopped for Mt. Hood Hikers Due to Storm

By Mac     Dec 13, 2006 in World
The lost hikers, if alive, are in for another long night as winds blow on Mr. Hood in excess of 80mph, and another large storm is forecast. . .
Amidst frustration that the search must again stop due to weather, searchers are trying to remain hopeful. Tonight, Mt. Hood is engulfed in a violent storm, with sleet, snow and wind. There is another storm coming in the next 12 hours, in which winds are expected to reach +100mph on the mountain...
The last call from a cell phone came on Monday morning, and the last ping on Tuesday. The fact that the phone is dead now, searchers say, could reflect that they are holed up for shelter in a cave waiting the storm out. They may have lost cell power, or may have moved to a location where the signal cannot be sent.
No searchers were able to climb on Wednesday due to a storm. The storm is expected to peak on Thursday afternoon and wane late on Friday, although winds may remain strong until Saturday. At this point, the time since the first call for help from the climbers would be approaching one week.
Although helicopters can reach 7,000 feet, it is believed that the hikers are at about 11,000 feet. At this altitude rescue personnel must reach them on foot.
Friends - including fellow climbers - and family of the three say that all three are experienced and if there is no serious injury or emergency, they may be simply waiting for help in an ice cave, to conserve energy until they are found.
Search teams are hopeful that despite weather forcasts to the contrary, there may be a letup in the storm long enough to get to the hikers and rescue them.
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