Rescuers will head up Mount Shasta today

A break in the weather in Northern California has given rescuers a chance to return to Mount Shasta in an attempt to retrieve a climber who was stranded and is feared dead near the summit.

Thomas Bennett, 26, Oakland, Calif., became ill at high altitudes while climbing down from the summit Saturday, said his friend and climbing partner, Mark Thomas, also 26, of Berkeley, Calif., who called for help Sunday morning. Thomas hiked down Monday afternoon after building a snow cave for the unresponsive Bennett.

Today's forecast at the mountain calls for light winds and several inches of snow. Heavy winds and snow had thwarted rescue attempts since Sunday.

Searchers have set up a command center at the Weed Airport today and helicopters from CALFIRE, the California Highway Patrol and the Air National Guard plan to assist. Siskiyou County Sheriff's deputies and search and rescue volunteers, and U. S. Forest Service mountain rangers will work on the ground.

— Anita Burke

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