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Climber falls in Mount St. Helens crater

MOUNT ST. HELENS, Wash. — A climber has fallen into the crater at Mount St. Helens and a rescue is under way.

The Skamania County sheriff’s says it received a 911 cell phone call for help about 1 p.m. Monday.

Undersheriff Dave Cox says a helicopter that does contract work for the U.S. Geological Survey spotted the climber on a steep slope near the bottom of the crater but was unable to pick him up because of high winds and whiteout conditions.

Cox says a Coast Guard rescue helicopter has been called but it’s uncertain if the climber can be rescued before dark. A ground rescue team is being organized.

The sheriff’s office says the climber’s condition is unknown but he’s blowing a rescue whistle.

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