PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Searchers carried a body down Mount Hood Sunday from the glacier where it was spotted by a helicopter crew looking for a missing climber.
The recovery team set out around 3 a.m. Sunday and reached the body around 11 a.m., said Sgt. Dan Kraus of the Clackamas County Sheriff’s office.
He expected the mission to take more than 18 hours to complete.
Officials believe the body is likely Kinley Adams, a 59-year-old Salem dentist who failed to return June 22 from a climb on the west side of Oregon’s tallest mountain.
They won’t be able to identify him until the body is transferred to the medical examiner, Kraus said.
The recovery operation included 30 climbers and a few dozen support personnel, nearly all volunteers.
The body had to be pulled down the mountain on a stretcher, through snow, ice and rapidly changing weather.
“It was very challenging,” Kraus said.
Because of the weather conditions, avalanche danger and difficult terrain, the searchers were not positive when they set out Sunday morning that they would be able to reach the body or bring it back down, he said.
Oregon Army National Guard Blackhawk helicopter crews made the discovery Saturday at an altitude of about 8,400 feet, according to the sheriff’s office.
Adams is an experienced climber who had been making frequent trips to Mount Hood in preparation for a trip to Nepal. He is thought to have a cellphone, but searchers have been unable to pinpoint the signal. His mountain locator beacon was found at home, apparently with gear he was planning to take to Nepal.
His vehicle was found on the mountain at Timberline Lodge.