PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The search for a missing climber on Mount Hood was again suspended Monday afternoon amid hazardous weather conditions.
Fifty-nine-year-old Kinley Adams, a Salem dentist, was reported missing after he failed to return from a hike Saturday afternoon.
Crews were forced to suspend their search Sunday evening after running into visibility issues and near whiteout conditions. They resumed it at 4 a.m. Monday, but had to suspend it around 12:30 p.m. due to low cloud cover. Plans called for a 4:30 a.m. start-time Tuesday, weather permitting.
"His colleagues describe him as a skilled climber," Clackamas County Sheriff's Sgt. Robert Wurpes said Monday. He's known to be very safe and not a risk taker."
Adams was supposed to return home at about 3 p.m. Saturday. He was reported missing by his family at about 9 p.m.
He took his mobile phone with him, but there have been no phone calls and no signal from a phone since he left.
The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office reports Adams' vehicle was found in the Timberline Lodge parking lot. Adams registered in the lodge's climbing log, in which he wrote that he planned to take the Leuthold Couloir route. He has allegedly scaled the route before.
About 15 people were searching on the mountain Monday. However, Wurpes said that crews were unable to go past the 9,000-foot elevation due to rough weather. A National Guard helicopter was also on standby in case the weather cleared up.
"As we get higher, you've got clouds and snow that are limiting even more, and that's just an added difficulty," Wurpes said. "Soft snow is also a challenge because it gives away very easily."
The sheriff's office Search and Rescue Team is coordinating the search effort. Volunteers with Portland Mountain Rescue, Mountain Wave Communications, American Medical Response Reach and Treat Team, and the Hood River Crag Rats were assisting.
Staff at his Salem dental office initially declined to comment to KOIN and did not come to the mountain Monday. But family later said they take comfort knowing he has been climbing mountain peaks -- including this one -- for decades, and has always been well prepared.
Adams did not take an emergency locator beacon with him, which can be rented for about $5 a day.
-- Brent Weisberg and Lisa Balick contributed to this report.
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