BEND, Ore. (AP) — The body of a Kennewick, Washington, climber who died in a fall from Mount Jefferson in central Oregon has been recovered.
The Tri-City Herald reports David Freepons, 68, was climbing July 25 with a group at the mountain that is about 50 miles from Bend, Ore., when he slipped on a glacier and fell several hundred feet to his death.
He was a well-known climber in the Tri-Cities with decades of mountaineering and rock climbing experience. He was part of the Inter-Mountain Alpine Club in Richland where he had taught many classes.
According to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, mountain rescue crews organized from four counties started hiking the 15 miles to the location of Freepons body on the east side of the mountain Friday morning.
The area falls within the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Indian Reservation.
After climbing until 10 p.m. and spending the night on the mountain, the rescue crews prepared the site for the helicopter at 3 a.m. Saturday.
Leading Edge Aviation retrieved his body and took it to the staging site at Metolius Meadows in Camp Sherman, 16 miles from Mount Jefferson to be transferred to a vehicle.