The Office of the Oregon State Medical Examiner conducted an autopsy Wednesday morning on the deceased Mt. Hood climber who was found in one of two snow caves located by search and rescue personnel on December 17.
According to Deputy State Medical Examiner Dr. Larry Lewman, the cause of death for Kelly James, 48, was hypothermia from exposure to the cold environment. Dehydration may also have been a contributing factor, he added, and chemical tests are pending.
There were no disabling injuries documented by either the autopsy or x-rays, and James had been deceased several days prior to the discovery of his remains.
The search continues for James’ climbing partners, Brian Hall, 37, of Dallas, and 36-year old Jerry "Nikko" Cooke of New York City who have been missing since December 10.