Sad, but not entirely unexpected, news from Mt. Hood, where it was announced yesterday that rescue efforts were being abandoned for two missing climbers, as hope faded that they could be found alive. SAR teams called off efforts to locate Katie Nolan and Anthony Vietti, who have been missing since last Friday, when they, along with companion Luke Gullberg, set off to make an ascent on Hood. Gulberg’s body was later found at 9000 feet on the Reid Glacier, but no sign of Nolan or Vietti has been discovered.
Weather and avalanche conditions have made it difficult for search parties to comb the mountain. Storms have hit the area hard since Monday, with more than two feet of snow dropping on the mountain. Whiteout conditions added to the challenge, and kept rescuers away from Hood for two days, while they waited in vain for the weather to break.
We have begun to learn a bit more about what happened to the trio while climbing the mountain thanks to clues found on Gullberg’s body. Cell phone photos seem to indicate that there was an accident along the way and that Nolan may have been injured. It appears that while Vietti stayed behind with her, Gullberg elected to climb down the mountain to seek aid. He feel on his descent, suffering relatively minor injuries, but later succumbed to exposure.
This bring a sad ending to a story that we’ve all been hoping would turn out well. Lets keep the families of these climbers in our thoughts, especially as we head into the holiday season.
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