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Search on for fallen climber

Lane County Search and Rescue deployed to Search for Fallen Climber - Middle Sister

Lane County Search and Rescue received a request for assistance locating a climber who was returning from climbing the Middle Sister in Lane County. The climber reportedly fell down the west face of the mountain during descent around 10:00 pm on 11/12/14, disappearing from sight of the person he was climbing with.

Deschutes County Search and Rescue and Portland Mountain Rescue responded with six volunteers total. Weather conditions rapidly deteriorated in the areas of the search with low temperatures, freezing rain, and snowfall. A Lane County Team, comprised of eight Eugene Mountain Rescue volunteers, deployed from the Obsidian Trailhead but was unable to climb higher than 6,200 feet due to high winds and white-out conditions. Searchers were unable to reach the area where the climber is thought to have fallen.

At approximately 2:00 pm, the search was discontinued due to dangerous weather conditions that prohibited searchers from safely accessing the area. The search will continue when the weather allows safe access for teams to deploy.

The missing climber is a 39 year old male from Bend named Benjamin Newkirk. The second climber is safe and is assisting rescue personnel by providing information.

No other information is available at this time.


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