PORTLAND, Ore., June 29 (UPI) -- A search was under way Saturday for an Oregon dentist who failed to return from a solo ascent of Mount Hood, with a helicopter scouring his route.
Dr. Kinley K. Adams, 59, of Salem, is both an experienced climber and a member of the National Ski Patrol, The (Portland) Oregonian reported. He registered for the climb last Saturday but did not return.
Bad weather prevented any intensive search until Thursday, the newspaper said.
Sgt. Robert Wurpes, search and rescue coordinator for the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, said 30 volunteers were on the mountain while a National Guard Chinook helicopter was hovering near the summit, examining areas around Adams' route. A smaller helicopter joined the search later in the morning.
A National Guard team in a Blackhawk helicopter and using a high-resolution camera found a picket and rope Friday in the area where Adams was believed to be climbing.
Conditions prevented a ground search.
"There was just too much danger of avalanche, of stuff coming off the mountain," Portland Mountain Rescue climber Terry Campbell told the (Salem) Statesman.
Adams has climbed Mount Hood several times and has climbed other difficult North American peaks, including Rainier and McKinley. He and his son once spent a week in a tent near the summit of McKinley, waiting for weather good enough to allow them to descend.
He has been a member of the ski patrol in Santiam Pass for decades.
"We're still saying if anybody can make it, it will be him," Wurpes told the Oregonian Friday. "We're still optimistic."