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Officials unable to recover climber's body

Sept. 26, 2011 at 2:21 PM

EUGENE, Ore., Sept. 26 (UPI) -- High winds and near-whiteout conditions hindered efforts to recover the body of a Eugene, Ore., man who fell off North Sister mountain.

Deputy John Miller, search and rescue coordinator for the Lane County Sheriff's Office said Brian C. Jones, 37, died Saturday when he fell from near the 10,085-foot summit of the mountain in the Three Sisters Wilderness, The (Portland) Oregonian reported.

"He was scrambling on some of the terrain near his climbing partner and he slipped, started sliding and then cartwheeled down the mountain," Miller said.

A helicopter was dispatched to recover Jones' body, but high winds prevented the crew from reaching it.

"We were able to ascertain his status from the helicopter late in the day, but then the weather started going south on us bad," Miller said.

Ground crews were unable to reach the body Sunday due to low visibility and blowing snow.

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