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Injured Climber Rescued From Mount Whitney

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avatar Injured Climber Rescued From Mount Whitney
October 26, 2009 10:32AM
Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks (CA)
Injured Climber Rescued From Mount Whitney

On Saturday, October 3rd, two men were climbing the East Buttress route (difficulty 5.7) on Mt. Whitney. They were on a ledge at 13,500 feet when a large rock fell from above and hit one of the climbers on the helmet and upper back. The impact pushed him down to the ledge and caused him to experience neck and back pain with numbness and tingling on his entire left side. The uninjured climber assisted his partner in rappelling down two rope lengths, but his companion’s pain was so intense that he could not continue. A cell phone call was made to the park that came in around 10 p.m. On Sunday morning, the park’s helicopter flew ranger/medics Deb Brenchley and Rich Browne in to locate the climbers and evaluate the possibility of a short-haul extraction. The climbers were found at their camp at Iceberg Lake. Due to the cold, they’d continued to descend in the dark and finally arrived at their camp at 5 a.m. The temperature when the rescue team arrived was -16º C (about 3º F). The injured climber was transported to Southern Inyo Hospital, where he was diagnosed as having suffered a fractured scapula, broken ribs, and a compression fracture of his c-spine.
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