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Search underway for missing Mt. Whitney hikers

October 21, 2010 | 12:36 pm

Lanow.whitney.abraham Lanow.whitney.clymens Lanow.whitney.filips A search-and-rescue operation has been launched for three men who headed out for the summit of Mt. Whitney early Monday morning but failed to return as scheduled, amid a snowstorm that dumped three feet of fresh powder in the high Sierra.

About 45 people have been assigned to the operation, which also is using helicopters, according to the National Park Service. But hazardous weather and the snow accumulation were hampering operations, park officials said.

The three were identified as Phillip Michael Abraham, 34; Stevan James Filips, 43; and Dale Clymens, 45. They are from the Omaha, Neb., area.

A friend of Abraham told KETV in Omaha that she had last received a text message from him Tuesday morning. The station also reported that another friend who had reached the summit hours before them was certain the trio were in a shelter at the summit.

-- Louis Sahagun

Photos: Stevan James Filips, left, Dale Clymens and Michael Abraham.