Friday, December 15, 2006
Mount Hood searchers hope for calmer weather

Rescuers search the north side of Mount Hood on Tuesday.

For two days now, search and rescue crews looking for the three lost climbers on Mount Hood haven't been able to do anything other than wait for the weather to clear. Storms rolled in last night making things even worse. There are a lot of fallen trees and downed power lines.

(Our motel in Parkdale, Oregon, lost power. I had to use my Blackberry as a flashlight.)

Despite the challenging elements, we've been told a C-130 airplane will be flown today above the mountain today to see if anything can be spotted from the air. They'll be looking for any clues to the location of the missing climbers: Kelly James, Brian Hall, and Jerry "Nikko" Cooke. The military is devoting a considerable amount of resources for the search, including several paratroopers who have expertise with frozen terrain.

For the families, there is renewed hope today that their loved ones are alive. The local newspaper had a story about three teens who survived 13 days in a snow cave. Also, authorities showed the media another note the trio had left at the ranger station before their climb. It mentioned they had food, fuel, a shovel and sleeping bags. Relatives believe it shows how well prepared they were for any challenges they might have faced on the mountain.

The weather is supposed to clear up tomorrow. As soon as it does, we're told scores of rescuers will finally be able to scale up the mountain and hopefully find these three missing men.
Posted By Dan Simon, CNN Correspondent: 4:14 PM ET
  23 Comments
I think it is hopeful that the climbers will be found alive. With their experience, I'm sure they are doing what they need to do and waiting for help.
Posted By Anonymous Jess, Paris, KY : 4:39 PM ET
hello Mr. Dan Simon we believe that these three men are still alive.

we're also praying for the people who's out there helping for the search for these men. hope no body will get hurt because as we saw in the news even the rescue crews sometimes ended up they're also to be rescued.

regards to all people who's out there!
Posted By Anonymous Jemillex Bacerdo Chicago, IL. : 6:45 PM ET
I am praying that when the weather clears the mountain climbers are found alive. It was such a devastating tragedy about the Kim family, and how natures fury can be so unforgiving. I hope that in this case the outcome is so much different. Keep a close eye on the developments. I know you will.
Posted By Anonymous Madeliene Bolden, Atlanta, Georgia : 7:21 PM ET
I keep the climbers in my prayers at night. I think that there is a good chance that the climbers will be found alive because they are well trained and experienced.
God Bless,
JOANNA
Posted By Anonymous Joanna Parker, Millsboro: DE : 7:26 PM ET
I just hope that the missing people are located because not knowing where they are is torture for their familes and friends.
Posted By Anonymous Genevieve, El Paso, TX : 7:43 PM ET
,In this extreme weather, is possible to keep your cell phone, or pda battery from going dead? Don't extreme climbers carry a beacon, or flair for there expeditions, just incase they get burried in a avalanche, or medical conditions come up? The long and short of it, I believe these guys will make it home, and they are just chillin till the weather improves.
Posted By Anonymous Claude Calgary AB Canada : 8:46 PM ET
I also believe these men are coming down off that mountain. I was a HS classmate of Brian's sister Angela and I knew Brian well as he dated my sister in HS. He was an amazing athlete in HS and I understand that has carried on with him through the years as he became a personal trainer. I believe these traits along with his own perserverance and love for life will bring him down off that mountain. I will continue to pray for all of them and the rescuers as they risk their own lives for the lives of these determined mountain climbers. My heart goes out to all families. Keep the hope!
Posted By Anonymous Jennifer, Sioux Falls, SD : 9:03 PM ET
The mountains and woods are so beautiful when covered with snow. There seems to be such a feeling of peace and contentment all around when you're surrounded by the scenes.

It's hard to understand how dangerous the snow can be, isn't it? Even the most experienced often find themselves in a serious situation. I have to agree with those who believe the climbers are still alive. I also believe they will still be alive when they are found.

The families of these men are incredibly strong. Perhaps they do shed tears when no one sees, and why shouldn't they? I would have lost it days ago. We won't have another sad ending,they will soon be home, safe and sound.

Maggie

For all 360 regulars (in case we don't connect before then!) I WISH YOU THE VERY BEST HOLIDAYS EVER! MAY SANTA BRING YOU EVERYTHING YOU'VE ALWAYS WANTED AND KEEP YOU SAFE & WARM!!!

Anderson, I wish all this for you and everyone in your crew, too many to mention!! It's been a great year for
AC360 and that has made it a great year for us as well. TCSS
Posted By Anonymous Maggie, Grain Valley, MO : 1:45 AM ET
great coverage, you guys..heard the full story about the climbers- the AC 360 show comes early in the morning here in India and i dont catch it that often..
Hope this story of struggle becomes one of succour & survival.
Posted By Anonymous afreen, Bombay , Maharashtra : 3:21 AM ET
Overall it doesn't sound very hopefull. But like you say they have all the equipment needeed for the most extreme of circumstances. Hopefull the plane being sent up will spot something signifying where approximately they may be,
Once captured they should right a book called "Against all Odds"
Posted By Anonymous Lisa Scarboro Ontario : 11:49 AM ET
I have been praying for the lost mountain climbers and watching the story closely.
I am wondering if the cell phone signal at 10:55 PM might be a message to indicate an exact location such as 10055 feet, 10550 feet or something to do with latitude and longitude?
It might be worth checking out.
Posted By Anonymous Pine Bush, NY : 12:34 PM ET
This and the recent tragedy with the Kim family are reminders to us all why can't you make it easier to find on your site a summary of those survival tips you showed on your show on December 15th - it is something I would want to print and save and send to all the people I know. It would be a great public service to make available and I'm very disappointed to find nothing about it.
Posted By Anonymous Marcia Stuart Moraga CA : 12:41 PM ET
maybe this is silly..but has it been asked if the men stranded on Mt Hood had a GPS device? If they did, could there be a process to reverse search for their location from satellite data to at least get a general location?
Posted By Anonymous Steve, Spring, TX : 5:50 PM ET
Am I the only adult in America that wonders why a responsible husband and parent would embark on a needless adventure like this - endangering his own life, and now the lives of his would-be rescuers? I watched the family weep on national television with a mixture of sympathy, incredulity and anger. So much emotion,time, risk and money, for the sake of three men and whatever it is that makes THEM tick. If only they'd taken their energy and devoted it to the good of others - so hard to relate to this "tragedy"....
Posted By Anonymous Wendy Evans, NYC : 8:24 PM ET
I hate to sound insensitive, but...Although I am praying for the safe return of the climbers, I also have to ask "why?" Why do people put themselves into these kinds of dangerous predicaments, knowing that if something goes wrong many other people will have to put themselves in danger to try to save them? The other night CNN was showing video of a helicopter that crashed and rolled down the side of a mountain while trying to rescue some stranded skiers. Thankfully no one died in the crash, but this is exactly what I am talking about. I live in an area prone to flooding. There is always someone who drives his car into a flooded street which now looks like a raging river, gets stranded, then says "come get me." Rescuers have to tie and harness themselves to a rope then wade out to try to rescue the person, in the middle of a raging flood. Too many people in this country spend more time thinking about themselves and what they need("I am in a hurry so I'll cross this flooded street even though the sign says not to") or what they want ("I'll climb this dangerous mountain in the middle of winter because it will be awesome!") instead of thinking about others ("If I get stranded and don't come home how would this affect my family?" "If I get stranged and someone tries to save me, he/she might be injured or killed"). While praying for the climbers, be sure to pray for the safety and well-being of the rescuers as well.
Posted By Anonymous Joanna, Dallas TX : 7:29 AM ET
I wonder if there isn't a bigger rush than getting trapped in a massive storm on a mountain if you are a climber and extreme mountaineer? I mena, most people do edgy sports to test themselves and prove something. Th three mountaineers will have achived the unltimate rush and I hope they survive to tell about it.

But, they know what a mountain and weather can do to you! They were NOt babes in the woods.
Posted By Anonymous Steffen, Ames, Iowa : 7:48 AM ET
I am an avid watcher of CNN. Did anyone see what I saw on CNN helo video showed at 12:30 Hawaii time? It looks like a cave! Could be man made.

It is about 300 feet down from the top. It looks like about the same place the hiking gear was found. Just 10 to 20 feet from the ridge.
Posted By Anonymous John S. Seattle Washington : 8:11 AM ET
Sorry about the men on Mt. Hood but they were on an adventure where they knew of the dangers. Millions have been spent that need to be spent on more needy causes than some adventurers. Hopefully they or their families will have to pay the bills. These are well off people and should be responsible for their own wellfare.
Posted By Anonymous L. Warden, Barrow, Alaska : 5:12 PM ET
Just a question?
I noticed that no search dogs were being used on the mountain today with the Rescuers.
Posted By Anonymous Bruce Mumford, The Dalles, Oregon : 5:33 PM ET
I understand looking for the faimly that got lost after Thanksgiving. I do not understand the taxspayers money being spent looking for these three. I feel sorry for the families but they should have been home working for a living, not placeing themselves in this position. A lot of these people would not take the risk if they knew that there family had to pay for there rescue if they screwed up.
Posted By Anonymous V. Simmons, Panama City, Fl. : 7:00 PM ET
The following may save hundreds of lives every year.

Since the missing climber tragedy is receiving so much attention, why isn't there enough discussion regarding the use of technology in aiding rescue workers?

Current technology exists today that would have prevented this tragedy. For example a small device called the ACR Terrafix 406MHZ among others could have been used to pinpoint the exact location and send a distress signal via satellites and reaching SARSAT.


Also those climbers declined to rent $5 equipment called Recco Reflectors that could have tremendously aided in their search.

In summary: I realize we cannot talk people out of stopping their passion for thrill, HOWEVER, we can raise awareness of the importance of utilizing existing technologies.

When these climbers go on the mountain, they don't just endanger themselves, but also resuce workers and their families. Therefore it cannot be just an individual decision.

Thank You
Posted By Anonymous Joseph, Sherman Oaks,Ca : 1:13 AM ET
One "expert" suggested that the "Y" left on Mt. Hood, by the three lost climbers, was climber's shorthand meaning "YES, I am here." It is no such thing. It is an arrow pointing the direction the climbers traveled. Someone please pass this on to the searchers, so they are not misled by that "expert".
Posted By Anonymous Fred Whalen, Elmsdale, Nova Scotia, Canada : 10:25 AM ET
Today is Monday, Dec.18 and we know now that at least one man has been lost to the mountain. I was so sure these climbers could make it. All I can do now is hope and pray for the safety of the two who remain.

Maggie
Posted By Anonymous Maggie, Grain Valley, MO : 10:28 AM ET
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