Hood River County (Ore.) Sheriff Joe Wampler said the families of Brian Hall and Jerry Cooke acknowledged hopes of finding the men alive were gone, considering the 11,239-foot mountain has been blasted by extreme winter weather since the time they set out on Dec. 8 with fellow climber Kelly James.
James' body was found in a snow cave Sunday during a break in blizzard conditions. An autopsy revealed he died of hypothermia. He also had a dislocated left shoulder, which is why searchers believe the other two set out to get help.
Wampler flew a Piper Cub aircraft over the area Wednesday before making the announcement that searchers were on a recovery mission rather than a rescue, KOIN-TV, Portland, reported.