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Remains of Chicago man found near Temple Crag

August 11, 2014

A California Highway Patrol helicopter out of Apple Valley provided air support to the Inyo County Search and Rescue last Wednesday. The team recovered the body of a missing climber in rough terrain near Third Lake above Big Pine. Photo courtesy Victor Lawson

Inyo County Search and Rescue recovered the body of a 27-year-old Chicago resident Wednesday evening. The SAR team determined the climber died from injuries suffered in a 500-foot fall.
The Inyo County Sheriff’s Office was contacted on Aug. 6 by a local packer who reported finding an abandoned campsite near Third Lake in the North Fork of Big Pine Creek. Deputies learned that the camp was that of Brenton Wright. Officers learned that Wright had been in the Eastern Sierra for a month solo climbing various mountain routes.
According to a recent itinerary, Wright had camped in the Palisades Glacier region with the intention of linking the Temple-Gayley-Sill traverse with the Sill-Thunderbolt traverse and had never returned to his camp.
The county SAR was called in to locate Wright in a large area of technical terrain. A California Highway Patrol helicopter out of Apple Valley provided aerial reconnaissance and transport.
On the helicopter’s first flight, Wright was located approximately 900-feet above the base of Temple Crag between the Venusian Blind and Moon Goddess arete routes.
Five SAR team members with technical climbing gear sere dropped into the area at Third Lake. The team hiked and climbed over fifth class terrain for two hours before reaching Wright. A helicopter from Sequoia Kings National Park assisted in recovering the subject by long line.
The SAR members returned to the trailhead after a seven-mile hike that included four rappels.

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