Polish military man reported missing on Oregon's Mount Hood

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 13, 2013 3:36 PM

By Teresa Carson

PORTLAND, Oregon (Reuters) - A member of the Polish armed forces who was in the United States for military training was missing on Mount Hood on Tuesday, two days after he told his roommate that he planned to scale the Oregon peak.

The roommate notified authorities when Sebastian Kinasiewicz did not return by Monday morning, the Hood River County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

It gave no further information about Kinasiewicz, who had been undergoing training in nearby Washington state conducted by a company that designs and produces drone aircraft.

Kinasiewicz, whose car was found parked at a trailhead, is described as a novice climber. He was carrying crampons, an ice axe and a back pack with warm clothing and water, but no other survival gear, the Sheriff's office said.

Witnesses reported they saw a lone climber on a route called Cooper Spur on the north side of the mountain Sunday, Mark Morford, a spokesman for Portland Mountain Rescue said. "That is a popular advanced route," Morford said.

"Mountain conditions are reasonably good," Morford said, "Rock fall is always a hazard this time of year."

An Oregon Army National Guard Black Hawk helicopter was deployed in the search on Tuesday, following searches by fixed wing aircraft on Monday. Ground teams included National Guard members and volunteers from Portland Mountain Rescue.

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Morford said that Mount Hood is the second most climbed glaciated mountain in the world after Mount Fuji in Japan.

It is estimated that around 8,000 people climb Mount Hood every year, mostly between April and July, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Roughly two people die each year on the mountain.

Climbers are advised to file a route before climbing. Kinasiewicz's route was unknown.

(Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Andrew Hay)