California climber found dead on Mount Shasta |

California climber found dead on Mount Shasta

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

MOUNT SHASTA, Calif. – A rescue team on Thursday recovered the body of a missing climber who was stranded near the summit of Mount Shasta in Northern California.

Rangers found the body of 26-year-old Thomas Bennett of Oakland in a snow cave where his friend had left him before going for help, the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office said.

Bennett’s family was waiting at a nearby airport after being told of his death. An autopsy will be conducted.

Rescuers had been trying to reach Bennett since his climbing partner Mark Thomas called 911 Sunday to report that Bennett had collapsed near the summit. The two experienced climbers were trapped overnight by severe winds.

The bad weather stalled the search until Thursday.

Thomas told authorities that Bennett was unconscious when he started down the mountain by himself. He was rescued Monday.

Thomas said he left Bennett in a snow cave with water, candy bars and granola. He was able to show authorities Bennett’s location on a map.

The seven-man search and rescue team encountered heavy snow and high winds Thursday. Rescuers were able to locate the snow cave by spotting a black avalanche marker described by Thomas.

Stormy weather and poor visibility had prevented rescuers from attempting a search on the 14,126-foot mountain near the California-Oregon border.

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