Storm again thwarts search for Oregon climber

AP News
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Posted: Nov 14, 2014 5:38 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — 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 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.