Hiker buried by avalanche on Oregon's Mount Hood

Associated PressAugust 3, 2013 

— A man was buried by an avalanche while climbing Mount Hood on Saturday afternoon, while the six other members of his party escaped without injury.

Hood River Sheriff's Office Sgt. Pete Hughes said the other climbers called in the incident at about 4 p.m.

A fixed-wing aircraft was dispatched to survey the area, along with crews from the sheriff's offices in Hood River and Clackamas counties.

"It's going to take some doing to get folks out there," Hughes said in a telephone interview.

Warm conditions will make the ascent to reach the climber more difficult, Hughes said, and difficult terrain will add to the challenge. The climber was buried on the White River Glacier, which begins about 6,000 feet up the south side of the mountain. It's one of 12 on the mountain and is in Hood River County.

Hughes says it's unclear at what elevation the avalanche buried the climber.

The incident is at least the third this season on the mountain that put a climber in mortal danger.

In late March, climber Mary Owen was found alive by search crews after falling and surviving for six days on the mountain.

In late June, the body of Salem dentist Kinley K. Adams was found by search crews on a dangerous perch at the top of Sandy Glacier near the Hood River County line, at an elevation of about 8,400 feet.

Conditions at 5,250 feet up the mountain on Saturday were warm and clear — no new snow in the past 24 hours and a snow base depth of about 15 inches, according to the Mount Hood Meadows Ski Resort.

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