August 2018: Most Excellent Mount Ritter Rescue

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 20 August 2018


Most Excellent Mount Ritter Rescue

Hiker rescued after fall in Mount Ritter area,
Sierra Wave, August 16, 2018.

“The victim and her partner were at approximately 12,200’ elevation on the south side of Mount Ritter.”

“The female had lost her footing and slid 50 to 100 feet down a glacier on the south side of the mountain, colliding with the rocks below. She sustained head and facial injuries as well as lacerations to her extremities.”

“Their helicopter resource was not able to contact the victim as the altitude was too great. The only assistance they were able to offer was to drop a survival kit, as they were not prepared for overnight conditions.”

“Madera County Sheriff’s Office also had a ground team driving through Yosemite to the Agnew Meadows trailhead to begin the trek to the victim as Mount Ritter is easier to access from Mono County.”

“At 9:10 pm, a team of (4) four Mono SAR personnel and gear was loaded onto the Seahawk to insert them below the victim. At 9:58 pm, the Seahawk was able to drop the SAR team at an elevation of 9,600’ approximately 1.2 miles from the victim’s location.”

“At 12:49 am, on August 13, 2018 after gaining 2600’ of elevation in just over a mile, Mono SAR members made contact with the victim and her partner, conducted a medical assessment and continued treatment of the victim’s injuries. Mono SAR personnel and the 2 hikers spent the rest of the night on the small rocky ledge as the Perseids Meteor Shower lined across the moonless night sky.”

“...10:45 am, the CH-47 Chinook Helicopter with US Air Force Pararescue personnel onboard arrived overhead. The CH-47 conducted a rear wheels landing and loaded all 6 persons into the helicopter via the rear drop gate.”

“The fall victim also displayed an incredible will to survive and maintained a positive and infectiously optimistic attitude throughout her ordeal.”



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