Search for missing skier turns to recovery mission

Leavitt could not have survived the weather conditions

Rescue crews worked through falling snow to find a skier missing since Tuesday on Mt. Hood. (Mountain Wave SAR)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Search and rescue crews have now transitioned the search for missing skier Steve Leavitt into a recovery mission.

Crews consulted with a physician and determined that Leavitt could not have survived the weather conditions in the gear he had.

Crews searched for the 57-year-old for 5 days after he was reported missing on Tuesday, March 7.  He was last seen on Tuesday around 11 a.m. when his ski pass was scanned on the Heather Canyon Chairlift.

The Hood River County Sheriff’s office said Leavitt went missing in a double black diamond area, recommended for expert skiers only. He was an avid skier and familiar with the area, but conditions can become hazardous.

The search was complicated by heavy snow and rain. Crews were also concerned about open creek beds and tree wells.