Erik Hefflefinger Wiki – Bio
Erik Hefflefinger, an Oregon man died earlier this week after an avalanche carried him off a cliff.
Erik Hefflefinger, 33, of Bend, was descending Paulina Peak in the Newberry National Volcanic Monument with two friends Wednesday when he was caught in the avalanche, according to a news release from the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO). Authorities said they first received a report of an avalanche at 12:28 p.m.
Erik Hefflefinger Age
Erik Hefflefinger was 33 years old.
Carried off a cliff by fast-moving debris
Witnesses said they watched from below as Hefflefinger was “carried off a cliff” by fast-moving debris. The snowboarder’s friends, who were not buried by the avalanche, were able to locate him and “immediately began saving his life,” police said. However, authorities were unable to reach each Hefflefinger until 4:00 p.m. due to weather conditions. An hour later, “the rescue measures were suspended.”
Hefflefinger and his two friends, ages 34 and 44, used snowmobiles to get to the top of the mountain before descending on a snowboard and skis, according to the sheriff’s office. The two friends of his had already started to descend when the avalanche occurred.
“As a result of the investigation, it was determined that Hefflefinger possibly struck a tree while he was trapped in avalanche debris,” police said. The International Emergency Response Coordination Center (IERCC) alerted Deschutes County dispatchers to the group’s SOS alarm shortly after 12:45 p.m. on Wednesday, police said.
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Unable to immediately reach the snowboarder’s location
Members of the Oregon State Police were the first to arrive on the scene, but were unable to immediately reach the snowboarder’s location “due to snow conditions,” according to the sheriff’s office.
Three DSCO search and rescue volunteers arrived at the scene by helicopter around 4 p.m. On arrival, Hefflefinger was found to have “a weak pulse”. However, about an hour later, it was determined that he “couldn’t help himself.”
Hefflefinger’s body was transported to 10-Mile Sno-Park and delivered to a funeral home a short time later. Authorities do not believe the two friends caused the avalanche, according to DCSO, which reported that the three people were equipped with avalanche safety gear.
So far this year, the sheriff’s office says he has responded to “two avalanche deaths,” something that prior to 2023 hadn’t happened in nine years. “The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind everyone who has fun on the course to make sure they have the proper equipment and training,” they said in a statement.
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