A young college student tragically lost his life after falling hundreds of feet while scaling an Oregon mountain. The incident occurred on Thursday when Joel Tranby, a student at Oregon State University, was climbing the North Sister peak in the Cascade Mountains with his girlfriend. Tranby fell an estimated 300 to 500 feet, sustaining severe injuries.
Tranby’s girlfriend managed to call for help using her mobile phone, but was unable to pinpoint his exact location for the authorities. According to Sgt. Tom Speldrich of the Lane County Sheriff’s Office, Tranby ceased responding verbally before the search and rescue team could reach him.
The search and rescue team utilized drone technology to locate Tranby. The 21-year-old’s body was spotted from a helicopter on Thursday morning. The sheriff’s office reported that the rocky and steep terrain made it impossible to reach Tranby on foot. Expert climbers were consulted to determine the feasibility of a safe recovery mission.
The rescue operation involved an Oregon National Guard Blackhawk helicopter, mountain rescue teams, a high-resolution camera, and a drone. The sheriff’s office expressed their condolences to Tranby’s family and friends, stating their sorrow over the tragic loss.
North Sister, standing over 10,000 feet, is known for its challenging climb due to the loose volcanic rock and limited places to anchor ropes. Tranby’s mother, April Tranby, took to Facebook to share the heartbreaking news of her son’s passing and to express her gratitude to the rescue team.
Joel Tranby, an outdoor enthusiast and a significant figure in his local community in Bend, was also a coach for his former high school’s Nordic Ski Team. His parents, devastated by the loss, shared that their son died doing what he loved, in the outdoors, with the person he loved.