National Guard helicopter rescues injured climber from Mount Jefferson

KATU reporter Chris Liedle happened to be on a nearby ridge during the rescue and took photographs of the helicopter at work.

ALBANY, Ore. - A 64-year-old climber from Bend reached the summit of 10,495-foot Mount Jefferson on Friday.

Then he fell descending the mountain, injuring his leg.

The Linn County Sheriff's Office learned of the injured climber on Friday evening just after 7.

"Preliminary information received indicated that 64-year old Jonathan Sprecher of Bend, Oregon was descending Mount Jefferson after a successful summit attempt and fell in the area of the Milk Creek Glacier," the sheriff's office said in a statement. "At the time of report, it was believed that although Mr. Sprecher hurt his leg, he and climbing partner, Samual Lowry of Redmond, Oregon had plenty of food and water and were slowly working their way down the mountain."

The sheriff's office dispatched a search and rescue team on Saturday morning to make contact with the injured climbers.

The team reached Lowry at 5 p.m. - and learned Sprecher was another 1,100 feet up the mountain and "unable to put any weight on his leg to continue down."

An Oregon National Guard helicopter responded to the scene at 6 p.m. and hoisted Sprecher from the mountain, the sheriff's office said.

Medics took him to Salem Hospital for treatment.

The Linn County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Corvallis Mountain Rescue, Oregon Army National Guard, Linn County Mounted Posse and Linn County Amateur Radio.

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