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Mount Shasta climber found dead

By the CNN Wire Staff
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Thomas Bennett had taken ill Sunday after trekking to the summit of the mountain
  • His partner, Mark Thomas, dug a snow cave for Bennett and hiked down
  • An autopsy is scheduled to determine the exact cause of death
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(CNN) -- Rescuers in northern California on Thursday found the body of Thomas Bennett, a climber who became trapped on Mount Shasta after falling ill.

A seven-member rescue team flew in by helicopter and found the hiker, who had taken shelter Sunday in a snow cave, the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office said.

According to local reports, Bennett and a climbing partner trekked to the summit of the mountain, and on their way down, Bennett became sick and unresponsive. His partner, Mark Thomas, dug a snow cave for Bennett and hiked down, looking for help.

Poor visibility and weather dashed attempts to fly in the rescue team Wednesday, the sheriff's office said. On Thursday, the team went up in a Chinook helicopter and was off-loaded near Mount Shasta's summit.

They found an avalanche marker that Thomas had left at the snow cave, and the rescuers dug and found that Bennett had died.

Bennett's family was notified, and his body was flown off the mountain, the sheriff's office said.

An autopsy to determine the exact cause of death was scheduled.

 
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