Climber who fell from Beacon Rock was Oregon firefighter

Portland resident fell 100 feet while rappelling down

By John Branton, Columbian Staff Reporter

Published:

Updated: July 25, 2011, 10:15 PM

 

A 30-year-old Southeast Portland climber who fell off Beacon Rock and died Sunday evening was a firefighter-paramedic who worked in Oregon, Skamania County sheriff’s officials said.

Nathan “Nate” Turner fell about 5:30 p.m., according to a bulletin from the Skamania County Sheriff’s Office. Rescuers first believed he’d only suffered a broken arm and leg.

Skamania County Undersheriff Dave Cox said late Monday afternoon that officials hadn’t determined the circumstances of the fatal fall.

Cox said Turner and a climbing partner, Michael Aubry of northeast Portland, were rappelling down the popular South Corner route. Cox believes Turner fell more than 100 feet.

Beacon Rock is an 848-foot-tall monolith along the Columbia River, 35 miles east of Vancouver. A trail ascends to the top.

Turner was a firefighter for Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue in Oregon, the bulletin said.

“Our heartfelt condolences and prayers go out to the family, co-workers and friends of this young man,” Cox said in the bulletin.

Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue emailed a photo of Turner and a statement:

“Nate, hired by TVF&R in September 2007, was a firefighter/paramedic at the downtown Beaverton fire station — one of TVF&R’s busiest units. Prior to coming to work for TVF&R, Nate worked for Albany Fire Department and American Medical Response. Nate was also a reserve firefighter for Sunriver Fire Department while attending paramedic school in Bend in 2003, and attended Chemeketa Community College in 2002. The news has hit hard at TVF&R.”

Fire Chief Mike Duyck said, “Nate was an outstanding firefighter and member of the TVF&R family. He served the department and community well. He will be greatly missed.”