Helicopter Rescue on Mt Whitney - Mountaineer's Route

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Cy Kaicener

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Helicopter Rescue on Mt Whitney - Mountaineer's Route

by Cy Kaicener » Sat Feb 17, 2018 5:59 pm

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 - Mountaineer's Route

by clmbr » Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:36 am

It was just a "[gentle] slap in the face; ...to teach respect..."

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Re: Helicopter Rescue on Mt Whitney - Mountaineer's Route

by Marcsoltan » Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:34 pm

My guess is that he slid on hard snow and couldn’t self-arrest. 12,600 ft, is just barely above the lake. No steep stuff there!

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Re: Helicopter Rescue on Mt Whitney - Mountaineer's Route

by mrchad9 » Mon Feb 19, 2018 6:57 pm

This weather is worse than constant snow... just a bunch of rock hard snow and ice out there.

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