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Two counties’ SAR units, three helicopter crews coordinate rescue of fallen, injured climber high up on the North Sister

North sister rescue Lane County SO 7-6-1
Lane County Sheriff's Office
Army National Guard helicopter lifts injured climber from rugged slopes of North Sister on Saturday.

(Update: More details from sheriff's office, photo)

SISTERS, Ore. (KTVZ) – Lane County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue was assisted by their Deschutes County counterparts, two air ambulances and a National Guard helicopter to rescue a fallen and injured climber on Saturday at a high elevation on the North Sister.

The call from the lone climber, a 28-year-old male reportedly from Prineville, came in shortly before 5 a.m. Saturday, Lane County sheriff's Sgt. and Public Information Officer Tim Wallace said.

Deputies said the climber likely had several broken bones and was on an exposed scree slide, taking rockfall. He was able to call 911 and give updates on his location and condition on the 10,085-foot peak in the Three Sisters Wilderness.

A Lane County Sheriff’s SAR deputy deployed to high elevation on a Life Flight helicopter, while Deschutes County Sheriff’s SAR volunteers deployed on an AirLink helicopter. Another, backup team of SAR volunteers began climbing to the location as well.

Once the climber was located, the SAR personnel flown in by helicopters were able to climb to his location, reaching him around 9:40 a.m. to provide medical care and move him from the precarious slope, deputies said.

An Oregon Army National Guard helicopter responded and around 11:20 a.m. hoisted him into the helicopter, flying him to a hospital for further medical care, Wallace said. AirLink retrieved the rescuers from a snowfield near the climber’s location, while the backup SAR team climbed back down and hiked out.

"This rescue required a great deal of coordination and staff, including the three involved helicopters," the agency said. "The Lane County Sheriff’s Office thanks our Search & Rescue volunteers, which includes Eugene Mountain Rescue, and thanks to the Oregon Department of Emergency Management, Deschutes County Sheriff’s Search & Rescue, Life Flight, AirLink, and the Oregon Army National Guard."

More photos of Saturday's rescue were posted Tuesday at

Nearly every week, Lane County Sheriff's Search & Rescue volunteers assist our residents in all types of environments. Learn more about their Search & Rescue program at

Article Topic Follows: Accidents and Crashes

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