From Inyo County Sheriff's Office on Facebook
Inyo County Sheriff's Office
Yesterday at 8:23am ·
Two SARs on Mt. Whitney
At approximately 4:00pm Friday April 21st, Inyo County Sheriff’s Dispatch received notification of a potential fatality on the Mt. Whitney Mountaineer’s Route. According to the reporting party, who was a member of a hiking group that was descending the trail, a male solo hiker passed the group ascending in the last chute near the summit (~13,800 elevation). Sometime after the hiking group was continuing their descent a backpack tumbled down near them that the hikers recognized as the backpack belonging to the solo hiker. The members of the group called out repeatedly, but there was no response. In order to get enough reception to call into the Sheriff’s Office they hiked down to Iceberg Lake (~12,600 elevation) to dial 911. Inyo Sheriff started an investigation but it was too dark to begin an aerial search.
CHP H-80 out of Apple Valley responded the morning of Saturday April 22, and located the body around 1:00pm. The body was inside the boundary of Sequoia-Kings National Park, and therefore the recovery was coordinated through Sequoia-Kings.
At approximately 12:30 Saturday April 22nd, Inyo County Sheriff’s Dispatch received notification of an avalanche, with one reported injury, on the lower end of the Mountaineer’s Route (~9,500 elevation). The reporting party did not witness the avalanche, but as he was hiking he noticed the runout zone of the avalanche, and below that there was one injured male hiker believed to be suffering from a broken leg. Although CHP H-80 was already near Mt. Whitney doing aerial reconnaissance for the fatality, they were unable to assist because they are not hoist certified. Additional aerial support was requested through Inyo County Search and Rescue, and CHP H-70 out of Paso Robles was able to respond.
The avalanche victim, identified as Sung Kim, 64 year old male from Fullerton, CA, was successfully airlifted out and transported to Southern Inyo Hospital for treatment.
Due to historic snowfall in the Sierra we want to remind outdoor enthusiasts that the risk of avalanches is greater than in past years. Additionally, the high snowpack requires experience and technical skills.
Agencies assisting this weekend include: CHP H-80, CHP H-70, Sequoia-Kings, Inyo SAR, Inyo Sheriff.