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Weather hampers hunt for Mt. Hood climber

Published On: Jun 24 2013 11:36:32 PM CDT

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Bad weather forced volunteer crews to suspend Monday's search for an Oregon climber missing on Mount Hood.

Kinley Adams, a 59-year-old Salem dentist, was reported missing by family Saturday night, roughly six hours after his expected return from a climb on the west side of the mountain. The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office found his vehicle at Timberline Lodge.

After a fruitless search Sunday, volunteers returned to the mountain Monday amid poor visibility that limited the scope of the effort.

Steve Rollins, spokesman for Portland Mountain Rescue, said conditions kept searchers tethered to the lower elevation of the mountain, near Timberline. Though frustrating not to go higher, he said it's a search area that could bear fruit.

But rain, snow, wind and low visibility stopped the crews by early afternoon. The search will resume Tuesday, if the weather cooperates. The skies, however, are not expected to clear until Thursday.

Described as an experienced climber, Adams indicated he would take the Leuthold Couloir route to the summit.

It's easy to miss Leuthold and get into steeper gullies, Rollins said. Moreover, the ice that holds Mount Hood's notoriously crumbly rock is melting.

Besides Portland Mountain Rescue, volunteers from Mountain Wave Communications, American Medical Response Reach and Treat Team and Hood River Crag Rats took part in the search coordinated by the sheriff's office. An Oregon Army National Guard helicopter is ready where there's a break in the weather.

Mount Hood, the tallest mountain in Oregon, is a popular climbing site that has seen dozens of accidents and fatalities over the years. Thousands climb the 11,239-foot peak each year, mostly in the spring.

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