Climber buried by avalanche on Mount Hood

Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A snowboarder traveling through an ice tunnel with six other people was buried when the tunnel collapsed and an avalanche struck while they traversed a glacier on Mount Hood on Saturday afternoon, officials said.

The six other members of his party escaped without injury. The man has not yet been identified.

Hood River Sheriff's Office Sgt. Pete Hughes said the other climbers called in the incident at about 4 p.m.

"It trapped one person in the tunnel, (but) we're not sure if he was the last one out or it just caught him," Hughes said. "It sounds like there's a significant amount of ice and snow that fell."

An airplane was dispatched to survey the area, along with crews from local sheriff's offices.

Hughes said it will "take some doing" to reach the area where the climber was buried on the White River Glacier, which begins about 6,000 feet up the south side of the mountain.

Hughes says it's unclear at what elevation the avalanche buried the climber.

Search and rescue crews were assessing whether it was safe late Saturday afternoon to get to the snowboarder's elevation and try to rescue him before dark.

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