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Rescuers suspend search effort on Mount St. Helens

MOUNT ST. HELENS, Wash. — Authorities say high winds have forced them to suspend the rescue effort for a climber who fell into the crater at Mount St. Helens when a cornice of snow collapsed.

Skamania County undersheriff David Cox said Monday evening that dangerous downdrafts were dislodging rocks, making footing unstable for search personnel. He says efforts will pick up again Tuesday morning.

Earlier Monday, Cox said a helicopter that does contract work for the U.S. Geological Survey spotted the climber on a steep slope near the bottom of the crater but was unable to pick him up because of high winds and whiteout conditions.

Sheriff's officials say the rescue effort began when a 911 cell phone call was received early Monday afternoon.