Likely climbers missing since December summit attempt
PORTLAND – The Oregon State Medical Examiner’s office has confirmed that two bodies recovered from Mount Hood are the remains of climbers missing and presumed dead since December.
Clackamas County sheriff’s spokesman Jim Strovink says the remains are those of 29-year-old Katie Nolan of Portland, and 25-year-old Anthony Vietti of Longview, Wash. He said Thursday evening the medical examiner has not yet determined the cause of death.
A Portland Mountain Rescue team discovered a second body early Thursday while trying to recover remains spotted a few days earlier.
The remains were discovered on the north side of the mountain. The area – above 9,700 feet – is marked by ice, rocks, loose footing and steep terrain, so it was a slow process getting the remains off the mountain.
“We all want to know what went wrong or what happened, so we’re going to take all the information to try to figure that out,” Strangfield said.
Nolan and Vietti were in a party of three reported missing during an attempt to climb the 11,239-foot peak on Dec. 11. Searchers found one climber, Luke Gullberg, dead from hypothermia on Dec. 12.
Authorities ended the search for Nolan and Vietti four days later.
The remains were located in an area near where Gullberg’s body was found. Other evidence that suggests the remains are those of the missing climbers include clothing, condition of the bodies and their proximity to each other, Strangfield said.
Relatives of Nolan and Vietti traveled to the area and were in contact with authorities throughout the day.
Memorial services for the climbers were held in December. Nolan and Vietti were described as avid climbers who were deeply religious.