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Three Finger Jack - OSU student slips down steep scree slope

Climbing accident kills OSU student
Corvallis Gazette-Times
By Jennifer Moody, Albany Democrat-Herald

ALBANY — An Oregon State University student died in a climbing accident Saturday afternoon on Three Fingered Jack in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness Area. Linn County Sheriff Tim Mueller said the name of the 23-year-old woman is being withheld until her family can be notified.

Mueller said the woman was with four other hikers on the South Ridge trail of the popular crags, which are just north of the Santiam Pass at the eastern edge of Linn County. The group had made the summit and was on its way back at about 2 p.m. when the accident occurred, Mueller said. "She fell about 700 feet," Mueller said. "They were in an open area, where there was nothing to anchor to ... somehow she got too close to the edge and she fell."

A second group of climbers, unrelated to the first, saw the accident from about 400 yards away. A man with that group tried to help and slipped over the edge himself, but was able to climb back up and was not injured, Mueller said. A climber with an unrelated group did manage to make his way down to where the victim lay about an hour after her fall, Mueller said, but it was not clear whether he was with the group that saw the accident.


Climber killed in fall ID'd
The Gazette-Times
Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Kathryn Michele Tinnesand, a 23-year-old Oregon State University student from Hillsboro, was identified Sunday as the climber killed in a mountain climbing accident Saturday.

She fell approximately 700 feet while returning from a climb on Three Fingered Jack in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness Area.

Search and rescue crews from Linn and Jefferson County brought Tinnesand out of the wilderness area Saturday just before midnight, according to a press release by the Linn County Sheriff's Office. Her name wasn't released until Sunday morning, as authorities were waiting to notify her family.

Tinnesand was climbing with four other hikers on the South Ridge trail of the popular crags, just north of the Santiam Pass at the eastern edge of Linn County, said Linn County Sheriff Tim Mueller.

The group had reached the summit and was on its way out when the accident occurred around 2 p.m., Mueller said.

A climber in a group unrelated to Tinnesand's was able to make his way down to Tinnesand about an hour after her fall and found her deceased, Mueller said.

An Air Life helicopter from Bend took members of the Camp Sherman Hasty Team close to the scene. Linn County deputies, members of the Linn County Sheriff's Search and Rescue Post along with Jefferson County Sheriff's Mounted Posse assisted in recovering Tinnesand's body, Mueller said.



Death on three finger jack
07/24/05 12:00 PM

A close friend of mine, Katie T. died on three finger jack yesterday after a slip on gravel on one of the descent ridges and then a fall into a gully. I was wondering if there was a place where the rescue services post notices of things like this. Was anyone on the rescue who could tell me more? I am just thankful she went out doing what she loved instead of something like a car accident.
RIP Katie.

Re: Death on three finger jack
07/27/05 10:12 AM

Having been on the mountain the day of the accident (our group left "the crawl" area mere minutes before Katie's fall), I've been sobered by how unfortunate all of this has been. It's really put things into perspective: climbing can be dangerous no matter your skill level and objective hazards do exist. We all understand those risks, accept them, and, therefore, reach such lofty places that inspire us. Our bonds with each other and the environment are strengthened by what we learn on the trail and in the mountains.

I did not know Katie, but I gather that she had a deep respect for the mountains and was a good friend. It sounds like she was an amazing person. Bless her soul.

I saw Katie and her group at the alcove before the final pitch to the summit. I distinctly remember how everyone up there seemed to be having a great time- glorious weather, joking, and laughter. Indeed, it was a beautiful day.

Once in a while you get shown the light...
in the strangest of places if you look at it right.



Corvallis Mountain Rescue Unit Report

MISSION REPORT 05-04: Injured Climber, Three-Fingered Jack Member-hours: ~35

At approximately 1530 on Saturday, July, 23rd, Iain, Desiree, and Kate were just leaving the area of The Crawl on Three-Fingered Jack after a successful summit when Kate lost her footing and tumbled down the west side of the mountain. Iain immediately called 911 to report the accident and then called Joy Linn (CMRU In-town Coordinator) with the terrible news. He then directed another climbing group to descend and look for Kate.

The Air Life helicopter from Bend lifted four members of Camp Sherman Hasty Team from an improvised heliport in the Hoodoo parking lot to the meadows west of the mountain in three lifts; but it was evident after the first pass that Kate had not survived the fall.

Joy put the Unit on Stand-by at 1603 and later received permission from Linn County to respond. Bob Freund and Nick Pope (PMR) were both in the area and hiked in toward the mountain to meet Desiree and Iain as they made their way back to their vehicles. As Unit members arrived at the PCT trailhead, it appeared Linn County did not require/desire our assistance so members hiked in a short distance to meet Iain and Desiree as they came out to offer what support they could. They arrived at the trailhead at dusk.

Kate was put into a SKED by Camp Sherman Hasty Team members and lowered about 1300 feet down the west scree field to the PCT. From there, she was taken by horse to the trailhead.

The Sunday following Kate’s accident, Matt Crawford went into the mountain and climbed the lower portion of the gully into which Kate fell. He was picking up personal items which had fallen from her pack as she tumbled; but was unable to safely reach the upper part of the gully. A week later, Matt completed the job with the help of 500 feet of line. Thanks for looking after the details, Matt.

IN MEMORIAM – Kate Tinnesand 1981 - 2005
Kate was a cheerful person who loved the outdoors. She was a graduate student at OSU in Microbiology having completed her undergraduate studies also at OSU. Although she grew up in Hillsboro, her family moved to the Washington, D.C. area as Kate entered high school; but Kate chose to return to Oregon for college. Much to the chagrin of her U of O alumni parents, she chose Oregon State.

In January 2005, Kate and her close friend and climbing partner, Desiree, came to a Unit meeting. They both completed Benton County’s SAR Certification course and made application to join CMRU. They had just finished the interview process for membership in June.

While descending from a successful summit of Three-Fingered Jack and departing about 100m below The Crawl (after the “technical” part of the climb), Kate lost her footing on scree covered ground and tumbled about 700 feet down the west side of the mountain sustaining fatal injuries. A moment of inattention turned a happy outing into a tragedy and changed the lives of all who knew her. We’ll miss your happy face and big smile. It’s a 5.10 mantle into Heaven, and we know you made it, Kate.


To further complicate matters for Iain and Desiree on the mountain, about one half hour after Kate’s fall a member of a rather large climbing group slipped while negotiating The Crawl. Although attached to a fixed line, it was by two carabiners (not Prussics). He slid to the bottom of the catenary and was not in contact with the ground while hanging off the east side of the mountain. He sustained injury to his hand and perhaps forearm. Fortunately he was rescued from his situation by his climbing party, and was able to walk out to the trailhead.




Read more . . .
American Alpine Club
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Accidents in North American Mountaineering

AAC Report - Fatal fall from Three Finger Jack in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness 
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Photos: Climbing Three Finger Jack, a deceptively dangerous fifth class summit
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