Ground search to resume for missing hiker

Skamania deputies say aerial search provided no clues

By Craig Brown, Columbian metro editor

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A ground search will resume at 8 a.m. Saturday for a Portland hiker missing in a remote area of Skamania County known as the Big Lava Beds.

Undersheriff Dave Cox said in a news release issued this afternoon that a daylong aerial patrol of the area did not provide "any substantial clues" to the whereabouts of Kristopher Zitzewitz, 31, of Portland.

“We flew treetop-level” in a helicopter provided by JL Aviation of Boring, Ore., “looking in crevasses and tree wells on the lava beds,” Cox said.

"It is extremely frustrating we have been unable to locate Mr. Zitzewitz."

Saturday's effort will concentrate on areas that are very rugged, Cox said. Searchers still hope Zitzewitz can be located. He became separated from his hiking partner last Saturday. Weather conditions were unseasonably bad, with record amounts of rain and snow in the mountains.

The command post for the search is at the Goose Lake Campground west of Trout Lake.