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Linn County leading search for fallen climber on Mount Jefferson

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Stock Pix Linn County Sheriff

A Salem climber fell several hundred feet while descending Mount Jefferson and the Linn County Sheriff’s Office is leading the multi-agency search effort for him, according to a news release issued Sunday afternoon.

The climber is Steven Vanpelt, 33, and LCSO received information about the incident at about 11:45 a.m. Friday.

Deputies who responded learned that Vanpelt was in extreme mountainous terrain, and a witness described losing sight of him when he fell.

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office received the initial information about the fall and starting sending resources to the area and planning for a rescue.

Areas of Mount Jefferson often receive a multi-county response due to the resources needed and county borders in the area.

Deputies have called for help from multiple specialty teams throughout Oregon. Corvallis Mountain Rescue, Eugene Mountain Rescue, Deschutes Mountain Rescue and Portland Mountain Rescue have all responded.

The area is extremely dangerous and requires technical mountaineers to traverse the mountainside. Vanpelt has not been located due to the terrain consisting of snow, cliffs, large boulders, crevices and rock scree.

Multiple flights also have been conducted by LifeFlight air ambulance and the United States Army National Guard.

Other agencies assisting in the effort are Oregon Emergency Management, the Idanha Fire Department and the Detroit Fire Department.

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