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December 14, 2009

Oregon's Mt. Hood where two climbers remain missing.
(GOVERNMENT CAMP, OR) -- Relatives and searchers are holding onto hope that two missing climbers on Oregon’s Mt. Hood have survived and are hunkered down in a snow cave somewhere a day after their companion was found dead on a glacier on Oregon's highest mountain.

Rescuers had to bring in aircraft to conduct the search Sunday because new snow had created avalanche danger for rescue crews working on foot.

Skies were clear for the search Sunday morning, but the weather went bad later in the day and mountain was under cover of a low cloud during the afternoon.

The two search aircraft, a chopper and a fixed-wing airplane, had to return t the ground and search crews planned to evaluate all their options Monday morning.

The deceased climber was identified as 26-year-old Luke T. Gullberg of Des Moines, just south of Seattle. On Saturday, crews found his body on a glacier at the mountain’s 9,000-feet level.

Gullberg was identified as the son of Washington State Patrol Sgt. Rod Gullberg (Ret.). The senior Gullberg is currently a research analyst with the W.S.P. Luke Gullberg was an employee of REI Co-op.

The two climbers still unaccounted for are 24-year-old Anthony Vietti of Longview and 29-year-old Katti Nolan of Portland.

The search was slowed Saturday by low visibility, difficult terrain and bad weather.

A Sheriff’s Detective said the trio had registered to summit the mountain about 1:00 a.m. Friday morning, with the intention of returning to Timberline at approximately 2:00 p.m.

When they had not returned, family members alerted the sheriff's office, which then gathered some 30 volunteers to search the West Side of Mount Hood in the Reid Glacier area with the focus on an area at about 9,000-foot elevation.

None of the climbers were carrying a locator beacons that would provide a signal with which to pinpoint their location but they all were described as experienced mountaineers who know how to survive in the snow.

One of the three, 24-year-old Anthony Vietti is a member of Olympic Mountain Rescue based in Bremerton.

Relatives of the three climbers were gathered at Timberline Ski Lodge at Mount Hood, which is also a staging area for the rescuers.

Below is a history of the fatal climbing accident on Mt. Hood in recent years.

July 2008: Dr. Gary Lee, 55, of Eugene, died after being hit by falling rock. Lee was climbing with his 20-year-old son, Devin.

December 2006: Kelly James, 48, of Dallas, Texas, died of hypothermia on the mountain after being injured in a climb with two friends. His body was recovered on Dec. 17 in a snow cave near the summit on the mountain's north side. Searchers suspended their search for Brian Hall, 37, of Dallas Texas, and Jerry "Nikko" Cooke, 36 of Brooklyn, New York on Dec. 20.

June 24, 2005: Todd R. Engelhardt, 34, of Seattle, died after falling at least 2,000 feet to his death. His body was recovered near 8,400 feet on the Newton Clark glacier.

November 2004: Kenny Dale Kasselder, 37, died after falling into a crevasse about 30 feet deep on the Sandy Glacier on the West side of Mount Hood.

March 2003: Fred Frauens, 49, left Timberline Lodge on a solo snowshoe hike up the south slope. He was last seen at 9,500 feet.

May 2002: Three groups of climbers - nine people in all - fell into a crevasse, or bergschrund on Mount Hood's south slope. Rick Read, 48, and Bill Ward, 49, both of Forest Grove, and John Biggs, 62, of Windsor, Calif. died from the fall.

May 2002: Snowboarder Juancarlos Munoz, 30, attempts to snowboard from the summit of Mount Hood but dies after he falls 2,500 feet onto Eliot Glacier. Munoz, an Argentine, was living in Government Camp and working at Timberline Lodge.

September 2001: Karoly Janos Orsi, 26, a Hungarian exchange student disappears while on a solo day hike.

August 2001: A 15-year-old hiker, Evan Clark of Hinsdale, Ill., dies after a chunk of ice crushes him near the Cloud Cap hiking area.

June 2000: Diana Bradford Kornet, a 29-year-old Portland climber who had reached the summit of Mount Hood, slips as she looked over the mountain's northeast side and falls more than 2,500 feet to her death.

May 1999: Two climbers who reached the summit die shortly after starting their descent, falling about 1,500 feet along the mountain's northeast face. The climbers, Carey Cardon, 31, and Tena Cardon, 29, of Hillsboro, were linked together. One of them slipped and pulled the other down as they were descending the Cooper Spur route.

May 1998: Tom McGlinn a 39-year-old man climbing with a Mazama class, is buried and killed when snow and rock give way on the mountain's west side near Illumination Rock.

September 1997: Mark Fraas, 40, dies after falling 1,500 feet while climbing the Cooper Spur route on the mountain's northeast face.

September 1995: Ken Budlong, 45, of Portland disappears while on a solo climb of Mount Hood via the Cathedral Ridge route in Hood River County. Searchers were unable to find him. The search was called off Oct. 2.

July 1994: Four climbers roped together fall 700 feet down the Cooper Spur climbing route, stopping at the lip of a crevasse on Eliot Glacier. Ole Groupe, 16, of Pendleton and Jerry Milton, 51, of McMinnville died in the fall. The other climbers were rescued by helicopter.

July 18, 1991: John Pospisil III, 14, dies when he and his 12-year-old brother, Luke, lose control during an intentional slide and fall into a canyon while descending Mount Hood during a family outing. Luke Pospisil survived.

June 1990: The body of a 76-year-old Corvallis man is recovered from the face of Mount Hood. George William Ott died of hypothermia. Ott's widow, Marian, was not surprised to learn that her husband's body had been found. She said she had not expected her husband, who had terminal cancer, to return from the trip he had chosen to make by himself.

July 11, 1987: Arthur Andersen, Jr., 59, of Sherwood, Oregon, was killed when he and two other men fell into the Bergschrund cravasse.

May 13, 1986: Seven students and two adults from Oregon Episcopal School freeze to death after being trapped in a whiteout while ascending Mount Hood. Killed were Tasha Amy, 15; Alison Litzenberger, 15; Richard Header,16; Erik Sandvik, 15; Susan Elizabeth McClave, 17; Patrick Francis Mcginness, 15; Erin O'Leary, 15; the Rev. Dr. Thomas Goman, 41, and Marion Horwell, 40.

June 21, 1981: Five people in a group of climbers die during a fall from Cooper Spur while descending Mount Hood. The same day 11 climbers on Mount Rainier are buried under tons of ice during an avalanche. Killed on Mount Hood were Jim Darby, 35, Newberg; Garth Westcott, 35, Bend; Larry Young, 30, Corvallis; George Anderson, 36, Boring; and Leah Lorenson, 39, Vancouver.

June 6, 1981: David H. Turple, 51, of Portland and Bill Pilkenton, 17, of Newberg, die in a fall from Cooper Spur to Eliot Glacier.



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