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Pinnacles Staff Assist Stranded Climbers

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avatar Pinnacles Staff Assist Stranded Climbers
November 17, 2009 02:26PM
Pinnacles National Monument (CA)
Park Staff Assist Stranded Climbers

On the evening of November 15th, park staff assisted two climbers down from a climbing route after they had become stranded due to nightfall. Both climbers were uninjured. The climbers were able to place a cell phone call to a friend around 6 p.m. after they could no longer climb in darkness. They were near the top of a 500-foot route on the Condor Crag formation in the High Peaks area of the park. The climbers were in different locations on the route and could not complete the final 100 feet without additional light. Rangers contacted the party via cell phone and determined their location and condition before the phone battery was exhausted. With an overnight forecast of 25 degrees Fahrenheit and gusting winds, rangers and search and rescue team members were dispatched to climb to their location. The crew of a California Highway Patrol helicopter located the pair using infrared radar and a powerful “Night Sun” floodlight. Assisted by monument staff, the climbers then completed the route and descent. By the time they got down at 1 a.m. they’d been on the route for 14 hours.
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