Update on Fallen Climber
November 14, 2014
MIDDLE SISTERS: The search is continuing for Ben Newkirk, a 39 year old Bend, Oregon resident who is reported to have fallen to the west off the south-east ridge of the Middle Sister in the Three Sisters Wilderness around 10:00 pm on Wednesday, November 12th. Search and Rescue Teams from Deschutes and Lane County responded. The climbing partner of Newkirk was able to walk out to Camp Lake where their camp was established. He was assisted out and back to Bend by Deschutes Search and Rescue personnel.
Attempts were made all day on Thursday, November 13th to access the area of the accident (9,500 foot level) by a team of eight members of Eugene Mountain Rescue. The team was able to hike in 7 miles and access the mountain to the 6,200 foot level before they were driven back to the Obsidian Trail head by high winds and white-out conditions.
Current weather conditions and forecast for the day will prevent search teams from accessing the area today; however, the Sheriff's Office is currently working with the Oregon National Guard to fly into the area to assess for life. If weather permits, they are planning to send personnel into the area if it is feasible on Saturday or Sunday.
Image above: Weather conditions.
Second image: S&R team at the trailhead.
McKenzie River Reflections