Hikers Missing On Mount Saint Helens Walk Out On Their Own

Weather ReportsWeatherKevin Dean

Two men reported overdue on a climb upsouthwest Washington's Mount St. Helens are safely down afterspending a cold wet night on the mountain.

Authorities say 32-year-old Mark Lapinskas and 34-year-old KevinDean of Vancouver, Wash., were reported overdue Tuesday night.

Lapinskas told a Portland television station he and hisbrother-in-law are elated and relieved to have made it down safely.

The climbers say they started their climb Tuesday morning andreached the summit of the 8,364-foot peak later Tuesday. ButLapinskas and Dean say they became disoriented in foggy conditionson their way down and decided to make a shelter for the night.

They found their way to a road late Wednesday afternoon and weresoon reunited with their wives.

A search began earlier today for the men, who were supposed to return from a trip to the area on Tuesday.

The Skamania County Sheriff's Office deputies started the search efforts.

Dean and Lapinskas were reported overdue by Dean's wife Tuesday at around 9:45 p.m. The pair left Vancouver at 6:30 a.m. and were expected to be gone 11 to 12 hours. When they did not return, Lisa Dean reported her husband and brother in law overdue.

At 12:15 a.m. Wednesday, a Skamania County Deputy located their vehicle parked at the Marble Mountain Snow Park 10 miles northeast of Cougar, WA.

The North Country Volcano Rescue Team was dispatched to the area and started preliminary search operations at about 4:30 a.m.

A request for additional search personnel was made through the Washington Department of Emergency Management at Camp Murray.

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