News Release from: Clackamas Co. Sheriff's Office
Feb. 2, 2016, 8:46 a.m.
UPDATE (Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016, 2:30 p.m.) -- HIKER FOUND
Before 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 2, searchers located an empty snow cave they believe belonged to the missing subject, Christian Houck.
At about 11 a.m., a search plane from the Hood River County Sheriff's Office spotted a subject in Zigzag Canyon. The plane guided the search groups to the subject -- who was identified as Mr. Houck.
Christian Houck was uninjured and able to ski back to Timberline Lodge with the search teams.
The Sheriff's Office was assisted in the search by Mountain Wave Emergency Communications, Portland Mountain Rescue, Pacific Northwest Search and Rescue, the U.S. Air Force 304th Rescue Squadron, the Hood River Crag Rats and the Hood River County Sheriff's Office.
EARLIER (Feb. 2, 2016, 8:46 a.m.): Search for missing hiker continues on Mt. Hood
Yesterday (Monday, Feb. 1) just after 2:40 p.m., a hiker called into 911 reporting he was lost and in need of assistance from search and rescue.
The hiker -- Christian Houck, 51 years old, of Seattle, WA -- told dispatchers he had hiked above the Palmer Glacier on Mt. Hood and got off-course while attempting to return to Timberline Lodge.
Houck gave dispatchers his approximate location, but did not have equipment with him to give an exact location.
Search and rescue personnel responded and located Mr. Houck's vehicle in the parking lot of Timberline lodge.
Volunteers from Mountain Wave Emergency Communications, Portland Mountain Rescue, Pacific Northwest Search and Rescue and the U.S. Air Force 304th Rescue Squadron responded to the scene.
Searchers were unable to locate Mr. Houck as they searched late into the evening. Avalanche danger and stream-crossings hindered search efforts.
Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Search & Rescue Coordinators contacted Houck by cell phone and told him to shelter in place for the evening. The search would resume at first light when it was safe.
Houck made a snow cave to sleep in for the night. He reportedly marked the cave so it could be located by searchers.
At 6 a.m. this morning (Tuesday, Feb. 2), searchers returned to the field in an attempt to locate the missing hiker. They estimated it would take two hours to get to the area where the hike is believed to be located.
SAR Coordinators made contact with Mr. Houck again just after 8 a.m. He told the SAR Coordinators he might know where he was at -- and advised he was attempting to self-rescue. Coordinators advised Houck to stay in place and they would come to him.
Mr. Houck has still not been located. The search continues.
Sergeant Nathan Thompson
Office of Public Information
Clackamas County Sheriff's Office