PORTLAND — Clearing skies are giving searchers the chance to look for a climber who has been missing since last weekend on Mount Hood.
A National Guard helicopter checked the peak Friday for Kinley Adams, a 59-year-old Salem dentist who failed to return from a climb on the west side of Oregon's tallest mountain. Two smaller helicopters flew over the lower elevations.
Rescuers believe Adams is likely on the upper part of the mountain, where storms this week prevented searchers from looking.
"Folks are excited, you know," said Sgt. Robert Wurpes of the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office. "It's the first break in the weather we've seen. It's a good mood up here."
The helicopters were joined by at least a dozen volunteer ground searchers. Avalanche risk from warming temperatures prevents them from climbing to the upper part of the 11,239-foot peak.
The search will continue through the weekend.
"We'll take advantage of every spare minute we can," Wurpes said.
Adams is an experienced climber who had been making frequent trips to Mount Hood in preparation for a trip to Nepal. He is thought to have a cellphone, but searchers have been unable to pinpoint the signal. His mountain locator beacon was found at home, apparently with gear he was planning to take to Nepal.
He was reported missing Saturday night, about six hours after he was due to return. His vehicle was found on the mountain at Timberline Lodge.