Outdoor Writer

A Facebook photo of Brian Robak.

The Inertia

The body of 28-year-old climber, Brian Robak, was found by authorities, on Saturday, after he had attempted to climb Mount Washington, a nearly 8,000-foot peak in Oregon’s Cascade Range. According to a report by the Statesman Journal, Deschutes County Sheriff officials said that it had appeared that the young climber had fallen a “significant distance” while descending the mountain’s east side.

Robak, an aspiring actor and church activist, was working at Big Lake Youth Camp, near Mount Washington, in Deschutes County, Oregon. He had set out to climb the mountain at around noon on Thursday. He was climbing alone and without ropes. He had made it to the summit at approximately 4:30 p.m., according to members of a Salem-based outdoor club who had crossed paths with Robak, on the way up the mountain. The group leader, Mike Pennington, said, “I could tell by the way he was moving that he was a pretty solid and confident climber.”

A photograph taken the same day of Brian Robak's death.

A photograph taken the same day of Brian Robak’s death.

Though expert climbers occasionally climb the entire mountain without ropes, there are two technical sections that many use ropes to climb and rappel. Pennington said that the descent down the mountain is often the more treacherous, due to the hazardous rocks that can be notoriously weak and loose.

Search and rescue teams were organized, and searched surrounding areas for Robak on Friday. On Saturday afternoon, an Oregon Army National Guard helicopter spotted his body, then guided searchers to the location.

No matter how skilled an athlete or outdoorsman might be, the wilderness certainly does not discriminate.


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