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Two helicopters help SAR rescue injured N. Sister climber

AirLink took SAR members; Guard Blackhawk called

SISTERS, Ore. - A Portland man injured in a rock collapse while climbing North Sister on Saturday was rescued by Deschutes County Sheriff's Search and Rescue, with the help of an AirLink air ambulance and Oregon National Guard Blackhawk helicopter, officials said Monday.

Around 11:25 a.m. Saturday, DCSO SAR was dispatched to a report of a climber on North Sister who had a rock collapse during the ascent to the 10,085-foot summit, causing an injury that forced the climb to be discontinued, said Deputy Jim Whitcomb, assistant SAR coordinator.

The climber, Josh Lockerby, 49, of Portland, was part of a group of about a dozen Mazama climbers that was provided assistance by the team in beginning the technical descent down the mountain beginning at 10,030 feet of elevation, or about 55 feet below the peak.

(Update: Climber in good condition at Bend hospital)

The AirLink helicopter was requested to take two SAR Mountain Rescue Unit teams of two to the saddle between North Sister and Middle Sister to assist the Mazama group in the technical descent, Whitcomb said.

The first MRU team landed at the saddle at about 1:35 p.m. and began their ascent towards Lockerby's location. The second team arrived at the saddle as soon as AirLink was able to fly back to Bend and back.

After the mountain rescue team members made contact with the Mazama group, it was determined the injuries sustained by Lockerby would require air transport to a medical facility, if possible, vs. the long hike out to Pole Creek Trail\head, the deputy said.

An Army National Guard Blackhawk helicopter was requested to assist in the rescue of Lockerby from the lower end of the southeast Ridge of North Sister.

DCSO MRU members, assisted by Mazama members, were able to locate a suitable landing zone to enable the Blackhawk to land at about 7:30 p.m., vs. using the hoisting option. Lockerby was then flown to St. Charles Bend, arriving around 7:50 p.m., where he was treated for serious but non-life threatening injuries. A hospital spokeswoman said Lockerby was listed in good condition Monday afternoon.

MRU members, along with the Mazama group, walked back out to the Pole Creek Trailhead, arriving at about 10:45 p.m.

Since Friday, Deschutes Sheriff's SAR also assisted Linn County Sheriff's Office SAR on two missions, Crook County Sheriff's Office, and Jefferson County Sheriff's Office SAR, Whitcomb said.


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