Mt. Shasta Climber Rescued; Second Man Remains Missing

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Mt. Shasta Climber Rescued; Second Man Remains Missing

Postby Todd » Tue Mar 30, 2010 4:04 pm

Mt. Shasta Climber Rescued; Second Man Remains Missing
March 30, 2010 8:23 a.m. EST

Kris Alingod - AHN News Contributor

Yreka, CA, United States (AHN) - One of two climbers stranded on Mount Shasta by strong winds was able to descend the mountain late Monday. Rescuers have been unable launch their search because of weather conditions, and a continuing storm is expected to delay the rescue of the second climber until later this week.

According to the Mail Tribune, U. S. Forest Service rangers found Mark Thomas, 26, near Military Pass Road suffering from frost bite. The climber had informed authorities that morning by cell phone that he was climbing down to get help for his companion, Thomas Bennett.

Thomas told authorities on Sunday that Bennett was suffering from altitude sickness after they ascended to above 14,000 feet. Strong winds kept the two climbers from descending, and ground and air rescue crews from beginning their search.

The Redding Record-Searchlight reported that Forest Service rangers believe Bennett, 26, had died Sunday night. The search for him may be postponed until Thursday, when the storm is expected to pass.

The U.S. Forest Service had warned climbers not to scale the mountain over the weekend because of a snowstorm. As much as 140 inches of snow was measured on the ground on Sunday, and the agency warned of winds of up to 45 miles per hour above the tree line.

The two stranded climbers began their trek Friday without a wilderness permit. They were traversing the more difficult Hotlam-Bolam route.

Mt. Shasta is the fifth highest peak in California at 14,179 feet. It is located in Siskiyou County near the Oregon border

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