MOUNT HOOD, Ore. (AP) – A National Guard C-130 circled Mount Hood on Friday in search of three missing mountaineers, but struck out, its commander said.

Rescue workers defeated by three storms this week hoped for a break in the weather on Saturday and were planning what one called a major push by teams climbing up the mountain’s upper elevations.

They had hoped the C-130 flights would give them information about where to search on the 11,239-foot mountain, which authorities closed to everyone except for rescue crews on Saturday to eliminate possible false clues from tracks or cell phones.

The C-130 Hercules, a plane that transports troops and equipment, is equipped with infrared imaging devices that can detect body heat. But snow and clouds prevented it from gathering any thermal hits, and the equipment also iced up, said Col. Jon Proehl, commander of the 152nd Airlift Wing of the Nevada Air National Guard, which provided the plane.

The plane made three passes, one at 8,000 feet, the next at 10,000 feet and the last, over the top of the volcanic summit, at 12,500 feet.

They were hoping to find a hint of two Texans and a New Yorker missing since one called family members on Sunday to report that the party was in trouble and two members were descending for help.

The caller, Kelly James, 48, was in a snow cave when last heard from, his family said.

Proehl said the C-130’s equipment wouldn’t have detected body heat from a snow cave, in any case.

But the plane’s crew spotted no visible sign of the climbers, such as a piece of clothing secured outside a snow cave – and couldn’t see anything on the east side of the mountain, Proehl said.

Two climbers believed to have tried to descend the mountain are Brian Hall, 37, and Jerry “Nikko” Cooke, 36. James and Hall are from Dallas, Cooke from New York.

James didn’t tell family members the exact nature of the difficulty the party was in.

The last clue to the climbers’ whereabouts was a cell phone signal returned from James’ cell phone on Tuesday.

At a news conference earlier Friday, Capt. Christopher Bernard of the Air Force Reserve’s 304th Rescue Squadron produced a handwritten note the climbers purposely left at a ranger station before ascending the mountain. It said they took food and gear such as fuel, bivvy sacks, a shovel and ropes – all of which could be helpful as the three hunkered down against the storms.

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