Jeffrey Dale, 29, was last seen on Thursday, June 30, near the summit of Mt. Jefferson in central Oregon, where he was climbing with two friends. Jeff was an avid outdoorsman/climber and had successfully summited this peak before. The less-experienced friends turned back due to our unseasonably late snowy conditions but Jeff continued to summit solo. After Jeff failed to rejoin them, the friends hiked out to call for help, which arrived very early in the morning the next day. Aerial photography suggests that Jeff fell, was either caught in or triggered an avalanche, from near the summit, then fatally tumbled approximately 1900' down the mountain. Unfortunately, the terrain is so rugged that search and rescue personnel cannot recover him without the use of a helicopter. No search and rescue or government helicopter has been available for Jeffrey's extrication, leading a group of friends of the Dale family to seek out a helicopter to hire privately. That has proven to be a challenge given the elevation and his location but, in an answer to prayer, one that can conduct the recovery has been located. The operation is scheduled to occur during a good weather window, when it is both cold and clear, on Thursday or Friday, July 7 or 8. His remains will then be transported to Grants Pass.
As you might assume, hiring a specialized helicopter with its team is very expensive. We want to defray the cost of this recovery mission without placing any additional stress on the Dale family. This GoFundMe page was set up to make donations easier for anyone who wants to assist. Any funds raised beyond the cost of the helicopter will be given to the Dales to assist with funeral expenses and retrieving Jeff’s belongings from Texas.
Jeffrey grew up in Arcata, CA, Eugene, OR, Flagstaff, AZ, and Grants Pass, OR. He attended Weimar College, graduated from Andrews University, received his masters from Emory University in GA, and was working on his doctorate in New Testament Studies at Baylor University in Texas. He leaves behind a family and friends that loved him very much. We earnestly seek your prayers for his parents, Bob and Melanie, and his siblings, John and Grace, as well as his extended family. Please also remember the members of the recovery team in your prayers as this recovery presents multiple challenges.
From Jeffrey's last sermon at the Grants Pass Seventh-day Adventist Church:
“No matter what we experience now, in the pages of the Bible we have hope that beyond this life there is a new day coming when everything will be made right. And that will truly be the ultimate gathering when in the words of this passage people truly will come from east and west, from north and south and be gathered into one. Let’s look forward in hope to that day. You know, I believe that too often when we look to the future sometimes our focus is on persecution or other dark times that might await us. But let’s look to the future in hope. We’re called to be a people of hope. Let’s focus more on the One who passes through the fire with us, than on speculating about exactly what that fire might look like in the future. Let’s choose faith over fear. Let’s prioritize confidence in God over conjecture about the future.”
-Jeffrey Dale, January 8, 2022