Mount Hood in 2006

Mount Hood in 2006 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

MOUNT HOOD, Ore.  — Search and rescue efforts resumed early Tuesday for a member of the Polish military who is missing after trying to summit the mountain.

Sebastian Kinasiewicz, 32, is in the United States as part of ongoing training being conducted by Bingen, Wash., based Insitu, according to Sgt. Pete Hughes, a Hood River County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson. Kinasiewicz has been in the U.S. for a week.

“Our thoughts are with Sebastian’s family at this difficult time. We are working closely with the Hood River County Sherriff’s department to assist them in any way we can to locate Sebastian,” Jill Vacek said in a prepared statement.

Kinasiewicz was last seen by his roommate at 8 a.m. Sunday. Kinasiewicz was intending to summit Mount Hood, Hughes said. He did not leave behind a climbing plan.

“That makes it very difficult for us,” Hughes said.

Based on initial reports, Kinasiewicz is believed to have a jacket and pack containing warm clothing and water. Kinasiewicz was reported to have an ice axe and crampons, but may not have had any other survival gear.

Hughes described him as “having novice climbing experience.”

Sheriff’s deputies located his vehicle Monday parked at the Tilly Jane Trailhead. Two search and rescue teams were formed from that location Monday. Members of the Hood River Crag Rats (HRCR) searched two routes on Mount Hood that start at the trailhead without success. An airplane was used throughout the day Monday but it also failed to turn up any evidence of him.

Shortly before 11 p.m. search efforts were called off due to darkness. Members of the search teams camped overnight, then got back on the mountain at about 5 a.m. Tuesday.

While efforts are being focused on the north side of the mountain, another crew set off from Timberline Lodge on the south side, in Clackamas County. The Oregon Army National Guard is providing helicopter support.

The ground search is being conducted by the HRCR and Portland Mountain Rescue. Mountain Wave Emergency Communications is also assisting.

An emergency dispatcher told KOIN that the command post is located at the Cloud Cap Inn, which is about 2 hours from Portland in the Mount Hood National Forest. The Cloud Cap Saddle Campground has been closed to the public and is being used by search and rescue teams.

Cloud Cap Road remains closed because of a tree removal project. The campground is only accessible by hiking the Tilly Jane trail.

Insitu, which builds drones, released the following statement Tuesday:

“Our thoughts are with Sebastian’s family at this difficult time. We are working with the Hood River County Sheriff’s department to assist them any way we can to locate Sebastian.”

  1. Josh Baker says:

    Reblogged this on hikingnorthwest and commented:
    Mount Hood strikes again. I hope Sebastian is found in good health. At least the weather has been fine. Never take your safety for granted on big mountains, folks. They bite.

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