01-326 - Sequoia and Kings Canyon NPs (CA) - Rescue On the evening of June 14th, a visitor reported that her friend, Mike Foxfoot of Nevada City, California, was stranded on a ledge halfway up the Watchtower. The pair had been free-climbing in the Tokopah Falls area of Sequoia NP when Foxfoot, 28, decided to attempt a free solo climb of the Watchtower. Foxfoot reached a point where he was unable to continue his climb, so called his friend on a portable radio and asked her to go for help. Rangers Rob Lewis and Lloyd Walker attempted to reach Foxfoot by climbing a 5.6 rated route in the dark. They climbed until about 2 a.m. and reached a point several hundred vertical feet below Foxfoot, but were unable to reach Foxfoot due to unsafe conditions in an area of loose, unstable rock. Rescuers remained on scene throughout the night to reassure him. Communication was maintained with Foxfoot by utilizing his friend's portable radio. Rangers Scott Wanek and Brian Bloom arrived at the base of the Watchtower before dawn the next morning. They reached Foxfoot and safely lowered him to the base of the wall early that afternoon. Foxfoot is being charged with 36 CFR 2.32 (a)(4) for creating a hazardous condition. A total of 15 people from the ranger division, interpretive division, and the Sequoia Natural History Association assisted during the rescue. Ranger Greg Williams served as IC. [Bob Wilson, LES, SEKI, 6/20]
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