PORTLAND, Ore. -- Searchers on Wednesday afternoon found the body of missing skier Steve Leavitt at Mt. Hood Meadows, eight days after his family reported him missing.
On Thursday morning a recovery team brought his body down from the mountain, according to the Hood River County Sheriff's Office.
Preliminary investigation suggests Leavitt, 57, from The Dalles, died after hitting a tree and was buried in deep snow in a tree well.
Leavitt disappeared on Mar. 7 after skiing with his brother at Mt. Hood Meadows in the middle of a snow storm that dropped five-and-a-half feet of snow in one week.
Search and rescue teams went over the area with the help of helicopters, drones and dogs for several days, until the Saturday search was called off at about 3:15 p.m.
“We’re going to scale down after today,” said Sgt. Pete Hughes with the sheriff’s office. “Our doctor that we consult on survivability doesn’t believe that Mr. Leavitt could have survived at this point.”
Leavitt’s brother said they were skiing that area Tuesday. The brother felt ill late in the morning and went home. Leavitt continued to ski and rode the Heather Canyon chair lift last at 11:20 a.m., according to a scanner at the lift.
Steve Leavitt was a sales manager in The Dalles for the Tonkin Subaru dealership. He was described as extremely fit and very capable.
His family had spent each day since he disappeared in a special room set aside for them at the Mt. Hood Meadows Lodge. The sheriff’s office gave them regular updates.
“Our hearts really go out to the family and we feel so bad that they’ve lost somebody,” Hughes said.