The father of one of nine climbers who died after a whiteout stranded them on Mount Hood has called for an independent investigation of the accident.
"In my view there were problems with the way this program was conducted," said Richard Haeder Sr., citing forecasts of bad weather and other problems with the Oregon Episcopal School climb May 12.
Haeder's son, Richard Jr., was one of eight people found in a snow cave after three days and two nights on the 11,245-foot mountain. Six of the eight died. The bodies of three others were found in snow near the cave. Two others walked to safety.
School trustees have said the tragedy will be investigated, but they have not recommended how the probe be carried out. "If the school is not at fault, how can we believe them unless they are at arm's length from the investigation?" Haeder asked. "The facts are too important to be left to interested organizations."
Cecil Drinkward, vice president of the board of trustees, said a subcommittee formed to plan the investigation will develop a recommendation next week for the full 23-member board.
Meanwhile, doctors treating Giles Thompson, one of the cave's two survivors, say the Longview, Wash., teen-ager is responding to treatment for a chest infection. Both of Thompson's legs have been amputated below the knee. The second survivor, Brinton Clark, has been released to a hospital's rehabilitation center.