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Injured climber rescued from Mount Jefferson

by: DESCHUTES COUNTY S&R FACEBOOK PAGE - Blackhawk helicopter search lights illuminate a spot on the left of the photo as it searches for the climbing accident victim on Mount Jefferson.A Salem mountain climber, who had fallen into a crevasse July 20, was rescued late that night by an Oregon National Guard helicopter, the search lights of which were seen by several residents in the Madras area.

The area was on the Warm Springs Reservation, but tribal search and rescue gave other agencies permission to enter because they were busy dealing with the Sunnyside Turnoff Fire, according to Jefferson County Sheriff Jim Adkins.

Four agencies had mobilized to respond, including the Camp Sherman Hasty Team, Linn County, Marion County, and Deschutes County search and rescue teams. Deschutes County attempted to respond in an AirLink helicopter, but the craft had mechanical issues and was not able to launch.

“Four counties were headed that direction, but were hoping the helicopter would get there first,” Adkins said, because of the difficulty of getting to the location.

Sgt. Joe Larson, with the Linn County Sheriff’s Office, said his agency called in the Oregon National Guard helicopter, which was able to rescue 64-year-old climber Craig Lewis Hanneman, of Salem, around 11 p.m.

“The issue was, from the trailhead to where he fell at the 8,000-9,000-foot level,

it would take 12 to 18 hours to reach them,” Larson said, of S&R teams hiking in.

He said Hanneman was in a climbing party that had climbed the Jefferson Park Glacier in Marion County, summitted the mountain, and was descending on the Whitewater Glacier on the Warm Springs Reservation in Jefferson County when the accident occurred.

“They were coming down and were not roped together, when he got too close to a crevasse, which caved in. He fell 30 feet into the crevasse. Unfortunately, he had the rope in his backpack, but three others in his climbing party were able to climb down into the crevasse and get him out,” Larson said.

Two off-duty members of the Portland Mountain Rescue team, who were also on the mountain at the time, were able to assist the victim with first aid, a spokesman from that agency said.

“He had been in the snow for a while, and was hypothermic and complaining of a chest injury. They put him in sleeping bags and stabilized him until the helicopter got there,” Larson said. He was flown to a Salem hospital where he was expected to make a good recovery.

Since the rescue occurred in the dark, the helicopter was using bright lights to locate the victim, and that’s what people in Madras saw on the mountain, Larson said, noting a photo of the rescue is posted on Deschutes County Search and Rescue’s Facebook page.



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  • 1 Nov 2014

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