Climbing accident leaves Cheney H.S. grad dead

Climbing accident leaves Cheney H.S. grad dead

A Cheney High School graduate has been found dead after a fall on Middle Sister in Central Oregon.

39-year old Benjamin Newkirk of Bend, Oregon was found Sunday morning after a multi-day search that was complicated by extreme weather.

Lane County Search and Rescue says Newkirk was climbing Middle Sister with another climber on November 12 when he fell off the west side of the south-east ridge around 10 p.m.

Search and Rescue teams from several counties battled near white out conditions as they searched for Newkirk.

His body was spotted 800 to 900 feet below where he fell.

Once located, Search and Rescue personnel performed a technical recovery using ropes and other equipment to transport Newkirk 6/10th of a mile to an area where he could be transported back to Eugene to a Medical Examiner.

Newkirk is reported to have been an experienced climber.

He graduated from Cheney High School in 1994.