- Written by Ben Jacklet
- Category: Accidents and Rescues
- Published: December 11, 2014
- Last Updated: December 16, 2014
UPDATE: Today, Monday, Dec. 15, is the final day of the organized search for Gerren Kirk. Anyone with any tips about his whereabouts should immediately call the Wasco County Sheriff's Office at 541-506-2580.
Rescue teams and family members have been scouring the Mount Hood backcountry for any sign of missing hiker Gerren Kirk of Milwaukie, Oregon, but so far they have found nothing other than his car.
The 31-year-old Kirk has been missing for more than a week since parking his car in the Frog Lake lot east of Government Camp on Wednesday, December 3 and heading out on a solo excursion into the Mt. Hood National Forest.
Kirk’s sister Whitney Kirk Altman filed a missing persons report Sunday, Dec. 7, but the search was delayed because search and rescue crews cannot be dispatched until a vehicle is located to establish a starting point.
A family member finally found Kirk’s car at the Frog Lake lot on Monday. Police also were able to ping his cell phone and locate it east of Frog Lake heading in a SW direction. That route would have brought him from Clackamas County into Wasco County, so jurisdiction for the search switched over to the Wasco County Sheriff's Office.
On Tuesday, Dec. 9 six teams went out searching for Kirk and one team continued the search through the night. An even larger party went out Wednesday. On Thursday morning Kirk’s sister Whitney Kirk Altman wrote, “Hopeful that today is the day we find you Gerren! Back to the mountain we go.”
Family members told KGW news that Kirk had a cell phone on him but calls were going straight to voice mail. He was described as an experienced outdoorsman and frequent camper. Back in September he posted a photo of himself on Mount Hood with Illumination Rock in the background and wrote, “Had a fun two days on the Mountain… broke my pinkie and had to set it back on site… along with a whole bunch of cuts! Would do it again just probably go alone next time.”
The weather on the mountain has been mostly damp over the past week and slightly above freezing, with unusually low snow levels for December.
Anyone who may have seen Kirk should call the Wasco County Sheriff's Office at 541-506-2580.