Search for two Mount Hood climbers yields stash of gear

Staff Report

The Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Searchers are back on Mount Hood today searching for the bodies of two climbers who went missing in December.

Among the searchers are Explorer Scouts from Washington County in Oregon. Saturday morning they found some of the gear the climbers had stashed on their way up the mountain.

The gear was hidden in what authorities describe as a "cubbyhole" hidden behind plywood sheets in an A-frame shelter at Tilly Jane campground.

That's a few hundred feet above the spot where Kelly James, Brian Hall and Jerry Cooke started their climb to the summit.

James died of hypothermia, but the bodies of Hall and Cooke have not been found. And authorities still don't know what happened to them.

It's believed they went for help after something went wrong with James, whose body was found below the summit.

Searchers say they plan to return to the mountain in September to examine the glacier where Hall and Cooke may have fallen.