PORTLAND – An Oregon National Guard helicopter has joined the search for a climber missing on Mount Hood.
The helicopter, which has night vision capability, lifted off late Thursday afternoon as clouds finally gave way to sun. The weather forecast calls for clear skies today, and the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office said the search for Kinley Adams will continue through the weekend.
Rescuers believe the 59-year-old Salem dentist is on the upper part of the mountain, but they had been unable to search that area this week because of poor visibility, storms and avalanche danger. The improving weather also allowed ground crews to start checking higher elevations, though it’s still too dangerous to go above 10,000 feet.
“Our challenge continues to be super unstable snow conditions on the upper mountain,” said Mark Morford of Portland Mountain Rescue, one of the organizations helping with the search. “The guys we’ve had up high at all in the last two days have observed numerous slides. With the warming weather and all the precipitation this week, that creates a very dangerous situation.”