News | Oregon

Workers Stuck On Steens Mountain Rescued

OPB | Dec. 18, 2012 12:30 p.m. | Updated: Dec. 18, 2012 2:46 p.m. | Bend, Oregon

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A crew of telecom workers stranded on Steens Mountain over the weekend is safe today. Rescuers on snowmobiles were able to reach the four men Tuesday morning thanks to a break in the weather.

The Steens Mountain back country area.

The Steens Mountain back country area.

U.S. Bureau of Land Management

Harney County Sheriff Dave Glerup said the men were part of crew contracted to build a cell phone tower for AT&T.

The project was running behind schedule, and the workers weren’t able to get off the mountain before the storm hit. For three nights, they hunkered down in a small heated service building, surviving thanks to a small stock of emergency provisions.

Sheriff Glerup said that when rescuers arrived none of the men required medical attention. But all of them were hungry. “BLM has a fire compound in Frenchglen, and got them all inside and the last report I got they were still eating everything they could get in front of them,” he said.

Glerup said the crew had to leave behind a snowcat vehicle they initially arrived in. He says the weather will probably postpone recovery of that vehicle until at least June.

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