Helicopter Rescue on Mt Whitney Mountaineers Route

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Helicopter Rescue on Mt Whitney Mountaineers Route

Postby Cy Kaicener » Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:04 pm

CHP - Inland Division Air Operations added 7 new photos.
Yesterday at 10:27am ยท
On February 11, 2018, H-82 was requested by Inyo County Sheriff's Office to assist with a rescue of an injured hiker descending the Mountaineers Route on Mt Whitney. The climber fell approximately 200 feet down the route sustaining multiple injuries making him unable to continue his descent. The climber was located at approximately 12,600 feet elevation near Iceberg Lake. When H-82 arrived the winds were gusting in excess of 50 knots. Several attempts were made but conditions were too dangerous to affect a rescue. The injured climber and his partner did not have overnight gear and temperatures had dropped to 20 degrees (F). H-82 gathered equipment at Lone Pine to drop to the climbers for an overnight stay. However, when they returned to the scene winds had calmed enough that a landing could be attempted. H-82 was able to land safely in a patch of snow near the climber and transported the hiker to Southern Inyo Hospital in Lone Pine. His partner hiked down on his own.
Please be careful and always be prepared when taking on the challenges of Mt. Whitney and the Eastern Sierras.

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Re: Helicopter Rescue on Mt Whitney Mountaineers Route

Postby Wildhorse » Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:53 pm

The Sheriff says, "be prepared and careful." I guess that means these climbers were not.

Few people are.
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Re: Helicopter Rescue on Mt Whitney Mountaineers Route

Postby Ed » Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:13 am

It is a bit puzzling to me. You have to be extremely fit, to put it mildly, to do the Mountaineer's Route in the winter as a day trip. Perhaps it was a multiday trip and they left their overnight gear below Iceberg Lake. Also, at this time of year you would expect the problem to be more avalanches than hard snow and ice, in that chute. But when I saw the pictures of the recent incident on Mt. Hood on TV, I was stunned by the snow, which was hard and icy. In February. I climbed the same route in June, and the snow was great, firm going up and soft coming down. The only problem was balling on our crampons coming down. Perhaps the Pacific Northwest is also having a dry winter, but I was not aware of that.
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Re: Helicopter Rescue on Mt Whitney Mountaineers Route

Postby Wildhorse » Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:46 am

Ed, It puzzled me too. One of the climbers finished the hike, even after the rescue delay.

I think police reports reflect police agendas, rather than revealing what actually happened. They often end like this one - with a condescending message to civilians.
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