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HIGH SIERRA MOUNTAIN SAFETY: Summer 2019 SAR Incidents & Accidents, Page III

HIGH SIERRA MOUNTAIN SAFETY: Summer 2019 SAR Incidents & Accidents, Page III


Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 12 November 2019

 

 

 

 

HIGH SIERRA MOUNTAIN SAFETY
SAR Incidents & Accidents

III

Summer of 2019 Mountain Safety Review

REPORTS INDEX

Page III
May 20, 2019
to
July 14, 2019

 

Support SAR

 

10 Rescues of Note

 

Technical Nightime Search & Rescue, Incredible Hulk

Lost Bristlecone Bathroom Breaker

Broken Ankle, McLeod Lake

Injured Hiker, Mt. Whitney

Evolution Traverse Fall

Cramps, Sherwin Lakes Trailhead

Lost fisherman, Starkweather Lake along Minaret Summit Road

Lost hikers, Valentine Lake, Sherwin Lakes trailhead

Ling Dao Search, Mount Whitney

Injured Whitney Climbers, Two Helicopter Transports

 

 

Introduction-Index Page

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Mountain Safety Section

 

 

 

July 13-14, 2019 19-305 #19
MONO SAR
Major Injury Backcountry Accident Incredible Hulk
NIGHTIME SEARCH & RESCUE

Night Search on Dangerous Terrain
MONO SAR searching for the subject on the steep snowfields via roped belay. Image by B. Beck
MONO SAR searching for the subject on the steep snowfields via roped belay. Image by B. Beck

Full Report
Technical Rescue, Incredible Hulk

Main Points
"...a 28 year-old female hiker from the Bay Area who had fallen down a steep snow-filled gully in the vicinity of the Incredible Hulk and had slid out of sight of her hiking partner."

"The pair between them had one pair of crampons and one pair of snow traction devices, and they split the gear so that each had a crampon on one foot, and a traction device on the other. They then attempted to cross a steep snowfield above several steep snow-filled gullies, and the subject slipped and slid/tumbled down the gully out of sight of the reporting party (RP)."

"The RP hiked out approximately 2 hours to Mono Village and from there called 911 via landline for assistance. The Team responded to the Barney Lake Trailhead, just outside of the Mono Village resort."

"Three field teams comprised of nine rescuers (including 3 EMTs) left Rescue Base at approximately 12:30 am (technically now Sunday, July 14) and the RP accompanied the field teams to guide them to the PLS (Place Last Seen). Navigating in the dark by headlamp, the field teams arrived at the PLS in approximately 2.5 hours."

"The subject was quickly located, but was found to be in critical condition with traumatic head injuries, numerous broken bones, hypothermia, and likely internal damage. The subject was non-responsive throughout."

"The subject was treated and packaged, and her condition continued to deteriorate. The filed teams initiated rescue breathing to maintain vitals."

"At 0740 CHP H40 lowered the bowman bag, and the titanium frame litter was loaded into the bag, and H40 raised the package."

"The field teams packed their gear, and hiked back to Rescue Base, arriving at approximately 0930, for a total of about 9 hours in the field. The Team displayed extraordinary team work, competence, and professionalism in successfully effecting this extraction and rescue."

 

Two Later Incredible Hulk SARs,
August 28 & September 9, 2019.

 

Climber Data

Summit Post
Incredible Hulk

Map

Twin Lakes Bensen Lake Loop Map

Completely bad planning: improper gear, and not turning around when gear requirements exceeded their gear. Very bad decision making.

 

 

 

July 15, 2019
INYO SAR
Lost Bathroom Breaker in Bristlecone Forest

 

INYO SAR searching Harsh Terrain of The Bristlecone Forest
INYO SAR searching Harsh Terrain of The Bristlecone Forest, image by INYO SAR.
Sierra Range visible to the West. Image by INYO SAR.

Full Report
Powell Search, Bristlecone Pine Forest

Main Points
"...day four of a massive multiagency search, missing hiker Sheryl Powell was located alive by ground search team members near the Montenegro Springs area..."

The Longest Bathroom Break
"Sheryl Powell (a 60 year old woman from Huntington Beach) exited the vehicle to take the dog out for a bathroom break while Mr. Powell re-positioned their Jeep. Mr. Powell could not locate Mrs. Powell or their dog once he parked the Jeep. After searching for almost an hour, Mr. Powell alerted law enforcement through his satellite device."

Although this is across Owens Valley from the Sierra Range, I had to include it. This episode tells us, "NEVER take anything for granted in the wilderness."

 

Always look before leaping, taking a step, or going to the bathroom. Ascertain where you are, where you are going, and where you partner is going to be before taking one step, or splitting up.

TOP

 

 

July 6, 2019 19-292 #17
MONO SAR

Full Report
Broken Ankle, McLeod Lake

Near Mammoth Pass

Main Points
"...a reported 44 year-old female hiker with a fractured ankle near McLeod Lake. The Team responded to the trailhead at Horseshoe Lake, and a field team of 4 SAR members left the trailhead in search of the subject."

"...the subject had been rescued by an unknown group of persons, and was at Mammoth Hospital for treatment."

Map, Reds to Iva Bell and VVR

Accident. Good Looking Out by fellow hikers.

 

July 3, 2019
INYO SAR
Glissading Accident, Mount Whitney

 

CHP & INYO SAR Working Together on Mount Whitney
CHP copter at Trail Camp for injury recovery. Image by CHP & INYO SAR.
CHP copter at Trail Camp for injury recovery. Image by CHP & INYO SAR.

Full Report
Injured Hiker, Mt. Whitney

Main Points
"...a hiker that was injured glissading from the Trail Crest. The hiker found refuge at the camp until H-80 arrived. She was taken to a local airport where emergency medical services was standing by."

Top of Whitney to Lone Pine 7.5min Map
John Muir Wilderness

Mount Whitney Zone 30min Map
John Muir Wilderness

 

 

July 1, 2019
INYO SAR
Technical Climbing Accident, Evolution Travese

 

CHP INYO SAR to High Rescue of injured climber on the Evolution Traverse.
Approaching Evolution Traverse rescue. Image by INYO SAR & CHP.
Approaching Evolution Traverse rescue. Image by INYO SAR & CHP.

Full Report
Evolution Traverse Fall

Main Points
"...a satellite emergency notification device was activated from about 13200′ on the ridge between Mt. Darwin and Peak 13332, on the technical Evolution Traverse. A party of 4 were climbing the route and rappelling a technical section when the weathered single-piece fixed anchor failed, causing one rappelling climber to fall about 40′."

"...a rescue of the fallen climber was not possible that night."

"On the morning of July 2, CHP – Inland Division Air Operations, along with one Inyo SAR member, hoisted the injured climber at 13200′ from steep vertical terrain. The climber was transported to the hospital in Bishop, CA, and the Inyo SAR member was flown out."

"The remaining climbing party continued their climb of the Evolution Traverse."

Map

East Flank of Evolution Basin above JMT

Classic climbing accident...

TOP

 

 

June 28, 2019 19-269 #16
MONO SAR
Cramps, Sherwin Lakes Trailhead

 

Hard Way Back to the Trailhead
MONO SAR arriving at the Sherwin Lakes Trailhead with our subject. Image by J. Bush.
MONO SAR arriving at the trailhead with our subject. Image by J. Bush

Full Report
Sherwin Lakes Trailhead.
East Flank below Mammoth Pass, Sherwin Creek Road.

Main Points
"...assist a 55 year-old female hiker with leg cramps on the Sherwin Lakes Trail."

"The subject was located a short distance from the trailhead, and was treated and packaged into the wheeled litter, and transported to base."

Map

Reds Meadow to Goodale or Silver Passes Map,
with Mammoth Pass...

Wrong person into the wrong place. Trip planning/training issue.

 

 

 

June 24, 2019 19-264 #15

MONO SAR
Lost fisherman at Starkweather Lake

Full Report
Starkweather Lake along Minaret Summit Road

Main Points
"...17 year-old male fisherman reporting himself lost in the vicinity of Starkweather Lake. The Sheriff’s Office was able to get a good location from the subject’s mobile phone."

"The Reds Meadow road was cleared, but not yet open, so the field team assigned to locate the subject was able to access the area via the paved road. The location coordinates indicated that the subject was approximately 600 yards from the road."

"The subject was located and escorted back to the rescue vehicle, and Mono County deputy provided transport to the subject."

Did the kid walk in? Then he went the wrong way from the lake? There is something more fishy about this story... did this kid just decide he did not want to walk back out of what he walked into? Trip planning issue.

Map

Reds Meadow to Goodale or Silver Passes Map,
with Mammoth Pass...

Poor Planning.

 

 

June 19, 2019 19-253 #14

MONO SAR
Lost hikers out of Sherwin Lakes Trailhead

 

MONO SAR on Night Rescue out of Sherwin Lake Trailhead
MONO SAR on Night Rescue out of Sherwin Lake Trailhead. Image by MONO SAR.
Action and images by MONO SAR.

Full Report
Valentine Lake, Sherwin Lakes Trailhead.
East Flank below Mammoth Pass, Sherwin Creek Road.

Main Points
"Two female hikers from Mission Viejo called 911 to report that they were lost in the vicinity of Valentine Lake."

"...16 searchers to the Sherwin Lakes trailhead."

"...soon had aural contact with the subjects via whistle, and shortly thereafter had visual contact. The subjects were provided with headlamps and escorted down the trail and back to the trailhead. They suffered no injuries or duress."

Map

Reds Meadow to Goodale or Silver Passes Map,
with Mammoth Pass...

Poor Planning.
Lesson: Basic prep and planning before entering wild. Trip planning issue.

TOP

 

 

June 17, 2019

INYO SAR
Lost Climber Mount Whitney Mountaineer's Route

INYO SAR Searching Top of Mount Whitney Mountaineer's Route
INYO SAR Searching Top of Mount Whitney Mountaineer's Route, Image by INYO SAR on the Ling Dao Search.
Image by INYO SAR on the Ling Dao Search.

Full Report
Ling Dao Search
Mount Whitney

Update

Main Points
"The search continues for missing man, Ling Dao. Dao was last seen, according to reports from hikers, on June 12 ascending Mt. Whitney, and (potentially) the summit of Whitney."

"To date, Inyo Sheriff has received several reports of hikers who either saw or spoken with Dao on June 12, both at the summit and during his ascent. Dao is 6’1” and 160 pounds – he is believed to be carrying a Black Diamond ice ax and brightly colored windbreaker and/or jacket. If anyone had contact with Mr. Dao after June 12 or may have seen him hiking along the Mt. Whitney trail please contact the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office at 760-878-0383/option 4."

This story speaks to the necessity of always having someone to check in with at the exact time you plan on finishing a perfectly-executed trip, and then considerations for an extra day's wait, as many trips take longer than expected. At that point we are seriously overdue.

Maps

Top of Whitney to Lone Pine 7.5min Map
John Muir Wilderness

Mount Whitney Zone 30min Map
John Muir Wilderness

 

 

May 20, 2019
INYO SAR
The Spring Rush
Injured Whitney Climbers

 

CHP Helicopter with INYO SAR up high on Whitney
INYO SAR calls out CHP Helicopter Landing for series of Early-Season Rescues on Mount Whitney, Image by INYO SAR & CHP.
INYO SAR calls out CHP Helicopter Landing for series of Early-Season Rescues on Mount Whitney, Image by INYO SAR & CHP.

Full Report
Two Helicopter Transports

Main Points
Unknown Situations. No other details.

 

TOP

 

 

Mountain Safety Section

 

 

Back To
Main Introduction and Index

Page 1
August 11, 2019
to
September 29, 2019

Page 2
July 22, 2019
to
August 10, 2019

Top
Back to the Top of Page 3
May 20, 2019
to
July 14, 2019

 

SUPPORT MONO SAR

SUPPORT INYO SAR

 

 

 

Mountain Safety

Trail News, November 2019

 

 

 

TOP

 

 

 

More
Nature News

 

Climate Destruction News

 

Trees

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Spider Forum

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Small Mammals

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Butterfly News

 

Health and Fitness

Mountain Safety

Mosquito News

Female Trail

High Sierra History

 

Astro-Phys, Space, & Science News

High Sierra Geology News

Fish, Oceans, & Water News

Anthropocene

 

 

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High Sierra, Nevada, mountain safety, summer, 2019, Inyo, Mono, Search and Rescue, SAR, rescues, Mount Whitney,  lost, injured

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