Search for Missing Bodies of Two Mt. Hood Climbers
Saturday, Sep 8, 2007
Saturday, September 8th Portland Mountain Rescue,
along with several other local search and rescue organizations, spent the day
searching for the bodies of Jerry Cooke and Brian Hall, missing since December
2006. The two men were part of a climbing party that had ascended the mountain
from the North side of Mt Hood. It is believed that the team became disoriented
when a fierce blizzard engulfed the mountain and, unable to determine the
correct descent route, bivouacked in a snow cave near the summit. At some point
during the ordeal, Jerry Cooke and Brian Hall chose to leave fellow climber
Kelly James in the snow cave to go for help. Judging from evidence later
recovered from the mountain, authorities believe these two attempted to descend
the complex labyrinth of cliffs and avalanche slopes on the north side of the
mountain but were unsuccessful. Rescuers were later able to recover the body of
Kelly James from the snow cave on the summit, but the bodies of Jerry Cooke and
Brian Hall were not found.
Approximately 60 people showed up to help with the search efforts on Saturday.
Hood River County Sheriff's Department coordinated search operation and
rescuers from the Hood River Crag Rats, the 304th Air Force Squadron, Corvallis
Mountain Rescue, Eugene Mountain Rescue, and Deschutes County Sheriff's Search
and Rescue participated in Saturday's search for the missing bodies. Rescuers
focused on searching the Elliot and Newton Clark Glaciers, as well as the rocky
headwalls on the upper mountain. Unfortunately, the search yielded no new clues
as to the whereabouts of Cooke and Hall.