Climbers missing on Oregon's highest mountain found alive

Rescuers located three climbers who fell from a ledge on snowy Mount Hood, but rescue efforts were being hampered by blinding snow and wind, officials said.

Rescuers were trying to rappel 150 feet (45 meters) to reach the climbers on Sunday, but were caught in whiteout conditions. Officials were in sporadic cell phone contact with the three, and believed they were in decent condition.

"They're very cold," said Russell Gubele, who was coordinating communications for the rescue operation.

Jim Strovink, spokesman for the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, said one of the climbers was believed to be fine, and the other two may have suffered concussions, the AP reports.

The drama on Oregon's highest mountain began shortly before noon Sunday, when someone in the eight-person climbing party called emergency dispatchers to say three of the climbers had fallen off a cliff.

The climbing mishap occurred at about the 8,300-foot (2,500-meter) level on the mountain, which is about 60 miles (100 kilometers) east of Portland.

In the past 25 years, more than 35 climbers have died on the 11,239-foot (3,426-meter) mountain, one of the most frequently climbed mountains in the world.

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