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MountHoodClimbers 02-20

Associated Press

Matty Bryant, 34, one of the three climbers who were stranded on Mount Hood since Sunday runs to a waiting ambulance with a black Labrador named Velvet on Monday.

Beacon, dog save climbers

Trevor Liston saw one friend, then a second, then a third disappear over an icy ledge on Mount Hood. A black Labrador mix plunged over as well.

That left Liston and four others wondering what had happened to their companions — two women and a man. They used a rope to lower one of their climbing party over the edge, trying to spot the trio. But there was no sign of the three. So the five remaining climbers used a cell phone to call rescue authorities and ask for help as a snowstorm raged.

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The drama on Oregon’s highest mountain had a happy ending Monday as rescuers reached the three who had slid about 500 feet. All three, plus Velvet the 4-year-old dog, who had been clipped to a rope the trio of climbers had used, were transported off the 11,239-foot mountain Monday afternoon.

The rescuers credited the group’s rescue to two things — Velvet, who offered warmth as the three climbers huddled overnight, and the activation of a radio transmitter the size of a sunglasses case that helped rescuers to the group.

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