Follow us:

The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

November 14, 2014 at 11:02 AM

Snow hinders search for fallen Oregon climber

UPDATE, 2:45 p.m. | Bad weather is again keeping searchers from getting near the summit of Middle Sister mountain in central Oregon, where a climber has been missing two days.

Lane County search-and-rescue coordinator John Miller says the 39-year-old climber has “marginal” gear for winter survival.

Miller says it was too hazardous to send rescuers up the 10,000-foot peak Friday, but the National Guard would try to send up a helicopter crew later to search for signs of life.

A climbing partner reported that Benjamin Newkirk, of Bend, fell in the dark Wednesday night at an elevation of about 9,500 feet.

On Thursday, a rescue party turned back at 6,200 feet in the face of 40- to 60-mph winds and whiteout conditions.

Rescue groups are readying to go up this weekend if conditions improve.

ORIGINAL POST | SISTERS, Ore. — Rescuers hoping to reach a climber who fell two days ago while heading down a central Oregon mountain are facing another day of snow that has impeded the search.

A climbing partner reported that 39-year-old Benjamin Newkirk, of Bend, fell Wednesday night while they were descending from Middle Sister mountain, a 10,000-foot peak roughly 100 miles southeast of Portland.

Crews from Deschutes and Lane counties and Portland Mountain Rescue had to suspend their search Thursday because of freezing rain, snow and white-out conditions.

Deschutes County sheriff’s Sgt. Aaron Harding said Friday that snow is falling hard in the area.

The National Weather Service has a winter storm warning in effect for the area through the morning.

Comments | More in General news | Topics: missing climber, sisters

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►