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.