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Story by James Daniels - The Oregon Herald
Published on Monday November 9, 2009 - 11:03 AM
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Father of seven children, ages 3 to 14, had been reported missing near Breitenbush Lake. A rescue team on snowmobiles called off their search Saturday night but resumed on Sunday when they found Mark Shaver, 43, of Eagle Creek and his children in good condition. Sixteen inches of snow had fallen around them and the family van was stuck. The sheriff's office says Shaver had extensive survival training and frequently camps with his children.

Mark Shaver and his kids slept in the van for two nights until they were rescued unharmed early Sunday by the Marion County Sheriff's Office. The children included a 3-year-old and 5-year-old, and the oldest was 14.

By the time rescuers reached the family, the snow was estimated to be more than 30 inches deep in some areas, according to Lt. Sheila Lorance, a spokeswoman for the sheriff's office. Shaver had no cell phone. But he and his family were otherwise well-prepared for two nights in the snow. "They had warm clothes," Lorance said. "They had food and shelter.

They did some of the right things." Shaver is an experienced outdoorsman with wilderness survival training. It's not unusual for him to take the entire family camping, said his sister-in-law, Sarah Schlamp. "He camps a lot with the older ones, and the younger ones always want to go, too," Schlamp said Sunday afternoon "I know he's taken them all before." Shaver, who lives in Eagle Creek, took his kids camping Tuesday. His wife expected them to return Friday or Saturday.When they had not returned by Saturday afternoon, Shaver's brother-in-law called the sheriff. "I don't think anyone was nervous until we saw what the weather had done and then it was like, 'Oh no,' " Schlamp said. Rescue teams began searching for Shaver and his children late Saturday afternoon