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Rescuers find lost hiker on Mt. Hood

A hiker stranded on Mt. Hood was safely escorted by search and rescuers to the Timberline lodge Thursday afternoon, said Deputy Marcus Mendoza, a Clackamas County Sheriff's Office spokesman.

Jeff Kish, 30, of Portland, arrived at the lodge, one day after getting lost in a storm while trying to summit the mountain. Several friends met Kish when he returned at around 2 p.m. and drove him home.

Kish called 9-1-1 around 2 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 28, and told authorities that he was stranded, Mendoza said.

He used his cell phone to stay in constant contact with authorities while Portland Mountain Rescue assembled a 13-person team to send to the hiker on the south side of the mountain.

Using coordinates from Kish's phone, rescuers ascended on a snowcat from Timberline Lodge to the Palmer ski lift, then began hiking toward the hiker at the bottom of Crater Rock, which is near the 10,000 foot level.

Kish was prepared for the elements, with proper clothing and enough food and water to last for several days.

Rescuers reached Kish around 11:45 p.m. and determined he didn't need medical attention.

While trapped on the mountain, Kish posted messages on his Facebook page about the ordeal.

“You're gonna hear about it in the news anyway, may as well spill it myself,” he wrote. “Got stuck in a storm on the summit of mt. Hood. Stuck on cliffs over 10,000' in a white out. Called 911 after several hours of trying to self rescue. Search and rescue has been notified. Wish me luck!”

The storm limited Kish's visibility to four feet. An estimated 3 inches of snow was expected overnight, authorities said.

In a second post on Facebook at 2:33 p.m., Kish wrote, “OK guys, I have no idea where I am, other than right now on the edge of smoke gnarly cliff. Too far east or west?” Kish posted a picture of his coordinates at the same time, showing he was at 10,064.35 feet in elevation.

Kish registered his climb at Timberline Lodge before leaving for the summit at 2:30 a.m. Wednesday morning. He expected to return at 3 p.m. that afternoon.