2003 Missions


MISSION REPORT -- 03-01: Stranded Climbers, Mt. Hood

A group of five climbers ascended Leuthold’s Coulior route late Saturday, January 11th, and were caught on the summit ridge of Mt. Hood by a fast-approaching storm. Visibility was so poor, the group was unsure of its location and elected to dig-in and call for help. They were carrying a MLU and activated the locating transmitter.

CMRU was activated with a pageout at 0340 Sunday morning and responded with the truck and 6 members to assist with a possible evacuation. We arrived at Timberline about 0900 and were assigned to stage at the top of Palmer lift with equipment to be used if members of the party required evacuation. CMRU member Iain Morris is also a member of PMR and was on the PMR team which ascended to the summit to locate the climbers.

Once that team from PMR reached the stranded climbers, it was determined that all five would be able to evacuate on their own. CMRU members returned equipment to Timberline and departed in the late afternoon.
Participants: Clunes, Crawford, Dagata, Leach, Lee, Morris, Vitagliano, J. Linn.

Written by Bob Freund

MISSION REPORT -- 03-02: Overdue Snowshoer, Mt. Hood
Members-hours: 252.5; Miles: 1590

Fred Frauens (49 year old male) elected to snowshoe toward the Hogsback on Mt. Hood while his family skied at Timberline. He was last seen ascending above Palmer Lift (~9500’) into deteriorating weather on Sunday, 2 March 2003, and was reported overdue by his family at 1700. On Monday, PMR and aircraft searched the upper mountain in reasonably good weather. CMRU called on Monday evening to respond for Tuesday.

Initial responders Scott, Matt, Nate, and Aaron arrived on Tuesday (3/4/03) with Matt, Nate, and Aaron staying for Wednesday (3/5/03). Due to steadily worsening weather, they mainly searched in the Zig Zag Canyon area. No CMRU personnel were on-scene for Thursday. On Friday, Aaron, Matt, Nate, and Jeremy responded and were assigned a sector in Little Zig Zag canyon area. After an “epic” snowcat ride to the top of the Mile Chair, after surveying the weather and new snow, the team felt they would be in “survival mode” and ineffective to search. The team was withdrawn and shortly thereafter, the operation was suspended.

In spite of the many searchers and thousands of searcher-hours spent, no significant clues were uncovered and Mr. Frauens remains missing.

Participants: Crawford, Vitagliano, S. Linn, J. Linn, Lee, Clunes, Adolf.

Written by Bob Freund


MISSION REPORT -- 03-05: Missing Person, Marys Peak
Members-hours: 24; Miles: 98

At 0500 on November 13th, ALLSAR (including CMRU) was paged to conduct a road search in the vicinity of Marys Peak for a woman who was distraught, perhaps suicidal, and had called her husband. After searching by himself, the man contacted BCSO about 0400. In the course of the conversation, she led him to believe she was on one of the roads on or around Marys Peak. Four CMRU members responded with vehicles, along with other assets from Benton County SAR, for the search that continued until about noon. Repeated attempts to reach her via the cellular telephone number were unsuccessful.

Dawn from the parking lot at top of Marys Peak

Cascades at sunrise from parking lot

Later in the afternoon, the woman called again, but from Humbolt county, California.

This mission brings up an important point about searches involving cellular telephone calls. Having a contact within the various cellular telephone companies is quite important to assist with finding which cellular site and which sector handled the call. Also, realtime tracking of a working cell phone as it roams around the countryside can help locate missing persons.

Participants: Beaufore, Clunes, Linn, Sears

Written by Bob Freund; Photos by Scott Linn