HOOD RIVER, Ore. – The community is offering support for the search and rescue teams who spent hundreds of combined hours looking for a missing skier on Mt. Hood. Crews suspended the search for Steve Leavitt, 57, of The Dalles on Saturday, shifting their efforts over to a recovery.
Leavitt last scanned his Mt. Hood Meadows ski lift pass around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday on the Heather chair lift. Family members reported him as missing later that evening when he didn’t return after a day on the mountain. His brother, who was skiing with him earlier in the day, told rescue crews that he was likely in Heather Canyon which is known for it’s difficult, steep terrain.
Volunteer teams worked through near-whiteout conditions and pouring rain to scour the slopes for any sign of Leavitt.
Their hard work inspired a local skier to start a GoFundMe donation account, with all the funds going to support the hard-working volunteer staff.
“The mountain was stormy … still, search crews were out on the hill before 0900,” the fund’s creator, Raine Young, said in an update Saturday. “As per the family's request, all funds donated will be given to these hearty, dedicated volunteers.”
Several rescue teams joined in the search, including members of Portland Mountain Rescue, the Crag Rats, Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Patrol, the Hood River County Sheriff's Office with support from Mountain Wave Search and Rescue.
Most of the people searching the mountain were volunteering their own time.