5:45 p.m. EST
News that the search has shifted to a recovery operation and that the weather is about to slam the door on searchers again, is unspeakably difficult for everyone involved. Clearly, SAR personel are deeply frustrated that they were unable to find and rescue Kelly, Brian and Nikko in time. For the families—all three families—this inevitable decision means there is no closure. We remain profoundly indebted to those who have done everything possible to achieve a better outcome. As families, we are united in one large grieving family. The story isn't over for any of us until Brian and Nikko come off the mountain and are finally home again.
Frank has just spoken with family members, who remain firm in their hope that their loved ones will be found alive. No family member wants rescuers to take unnecessary risks during bad weather, but the sheriff reassured them that the search will continue when the weather clears.
Thank you for continuing to pray and for your many heartfelt messages to us.
See on www.katu.com
3:25 p.m. EST: NEWS BULLETIN!
Sheriff Wampler has just announced the search is no longer a rescue mission, but a recovery mission. He has spoken with the families of Brian and Jerry. The sheriff said they will continue attempts to locate the two missing climbers. They feel good about the effort they have put out. The family will be departing soon. Wampler said everyone feels a personal commitment to the climbers and to their families. He will finish what he started.
"Our team was just awesome. Everyone in our office we worked with, everybody came together. We got the playbook out for a search on Mt. Hood. That worked wonderfully. We never had any downtime throughout the week. We always had jobs for people to do, and people willing to do it. We ran twenty-four hours a day on this thing. We're at that point right now."
See www.katu.com.The video should be available soon.
Please continue to pray for the family members as they leave Mt. Hood without any resolution to their crisis.
There will not be any more news conferences unless there is new information to report.
Weather in Portland is stormy. They're having school closures. Search efforts are again hampered.
Frank spoke with Angela this morning. Brian and Nikko's families are holding firm. Some family members have gone home, but they're still holding out hope. They need our support more than ever now. Please continue to pray as you have done so faithfully throughout this whole crisis.
12:35 p.m. EST:
Sorry for the lapse in postings here. Frank arrived home safely last night. Delta Airlines was incredible to him. When he first tried to book a flight home, they said they were booked solid. Then the agent saw his I.D., came from behind the counter and gave him a hug. Then she went the extra mile and booked him first class.
In the airport he was stopped numerous times by fellow-travelers offering their condolences.
When he arrived in Orlando, a Delta official was waiting for him and whisked him off the plane. They had his luggage and took him to a different site where our daughter Allison and I picked him up. We are so very glad to have him home, although there is still a flurry of activity here. Frank is still in touch with both families in Portland and the sheriff's office in Hood River. Other media events and funeral plans are ongoing.
I will be providing additional information shortly.