Oregon House OKs Bill Requiring Climbers to Carry Electronic Locator Devices

The Oregon House has approved a bill requiring climbers to carry beam-emitting electronic locator devices when they head for the summit of Oregon's tallest peak.

Legislators are hoping to cut down on climbing disasters on Mount Hood.

The measure now goes to the Senate. It was introduced mainly in response to last December's climbing disaster. Three out-of-state men perished after they got caught in a blizzard near the summit of Mount Hood.

Mountaineering groups oppose the bill. They say requiring ALL climbers to carry the locators would infringe on their freedom to pursue the sport without government interference.

The bill was endorsed today by a 33-22 vote.

The legislation got an unexpected boost last month. Three climbers trapped on the mountain overnight were rescued after they activated a mountain locator unit that led searchers directly to them.