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Re: Ailing Visitor Rescued From Ostrander Lake

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avatar Ailing Visitor Rescued From Ostrander Lake
February 11, 2010 04:04PM
Yosemite National Park (CA)
Ailing Visitor Rescued From Ostrander Lake

On Sunday, February 7th, rangers at the Badger Pass Ranger Station received a radio transmission from the Ostrander Ski Hut reporting that a park visitor staying at the hut was in respiratory distress from pulmonary edema. The hut keeper reported that the 48-year-old man had attempted to ski back to Badger Pass that morning but was forced to return to Ostrander Lake due to his medical condition. The Ostrander Lake area had received several feet of new snow over the previous 48 hours in addition to over eight feet of new snow that had fallen in a number of winter storms over the last two weeks. As access to the ski hut was delayed due to the difficult trail conditions, a helicopter hoist operation was launched at the same time as a ground rescue team departed for Ostrander Lake from Badger Pass. After several attempts to take off from Fresno, a rescue mission by a California Highway Patrol hoist-capable helicopter was cancelled due to fog and low clouds. A second helicopter capable of landing on snow was ordered from Columbia, and was able to land in Yosemite Valley to pick up ranger/medic Jeff Webb. This second helicopter was unable to fly to Ostrander Lake, though, due to low cloud cover. Meanwhile, the ground team reached the ski hut. Ranger/medics Chad Andrews and Keith Lober provided medical care, and, with the assistance of Yosemite SAR team members, Badger Pass ski patrol personnel, and several park visitors staying at Ostrander, began extricating the patient in an over-snow rescue litter. Additional SAR team members arrived from Badger Pass to help complete the nine-hour-long rescue mission. The principles of operational leadership played a significant role in the decision-making process throughout the incident.
avatar Re: Ailing Visitor Rescued From Ostrander Lake
February 11, 2010 05:12PM
Yeow. Pulmonary edema at that altitude. What a surprise that must have been.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Ailing Visitor Rescued From Ostrander Lake
February 11, 2010 06:36PM
SOmething else must be a factor in his health -- HAPE usually occurs at altitude above eight thousand feet.
avatar Re: Ailing Visitor Rescued From Ostrander Lake
February 11, 2010 06:39PM
Quote
Bee
SOmething else must be a factor in his health -- HAPE usually occurs at altitude above eight thousand feet.

Ostrander is at 8500.
Re: Ailing Visitor Rescued From Ostrander Lake
February 12, 2010 06:00AM
My first post here.

High Altitude Illnesses by definition do occur above an arguable altitude of 8,000 feet but there is no such thing as a finite line that one crosses. There is a continuum of altitude effects that begin even lower. For example, night color vision begins to deteriorate at 5,000 feet. Airplanes keep cabins pressurized to 8,000 feet equivalent because that is where altitude effects become more clinically apparent. Obviously the higher one goes, the more effect. And yes, there may have been other factors in this case; fatigue, dehydration, hypothermia, high workload, injury, intercurrent illness, etc. All of these are contributory in some mysterious and unpredictable way. As an example, Edmund Hillary once developed HAPE after a rib injury at an altitude at which he, of course, had previously been proven capable.

Fascinating topic. Harvey
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