Visitor Survives Plunge Into Yosemite Falls

Search
Go

Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
Messages 1 - 20 of total 30 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
PAUL SOUZA

Trad climber
Central Valley, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Jun 6, 2014 - 09:32am PT
WOOOOW!!! So lucky!

http://goldrushcam.com/sierrasuntimes/index.php/mariposa-daily-news-2014/179-june/13689-yosemite-national-park-reports-visitor-survives-plunge-into-yosemite-falls

June 5, 2014 - Around noon on Wednesday, May 28th, park dispatch received an emergency call from a group of backpackers who reported that one of their number had fallen into the Middle Cascade of Yosemite Falls.

The victim, a 22-year-old man from Union City, California, was on a backpacking trip with three of his friends. When they stopped on their return trip at the Middle Cascade at the base of Upper Yosemite Fall, he fell into the water while reaching for his sunglasses. He was swept several hundred feet through the 675-foot-high Middle Cascade into an eddy in a pool of water, where he was able to climb onto a large boulder in the middle of the cascade.

Immediately upon receiving the call, a Yosemite search and rescue team was dispatched to the location of the incident along the Upper Yosemite Fall Trail. At the same time, the park’s contract helicopter was ordered out for a reconnaissance flight.

With members of the initial ground team acting as spotters from the edge of the gorge, the helicopter inserted Ranger Ed Visnovske via short haul to the man’s location. He was found to be slightly hypothermic, but otherwise uninjured. Visnovske and the man were then short hauled to Yosemite Valley, where the man declined medical treatment.

Yosemite Valley District Ranger Jack Hoeflich was IC for this rescue.


We did the "Middle Earth" Descent last summer. Can't believe he's alive!
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Jun 6, 2014 - 09:49am PT
Whoa....

Good job YOSAR! Again.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jun 6, 2014 - 09:50am PT
Did he actually fall 675 feet. That would be amazing if that happened and he lived, but more important did he get his ray bans back.
Largo

Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jun 6, 2014 - 09:58am PT
If he actually got torpeoded over the falls, took a nigh 700-foot whipper and survived, he's an X Man or something, and that rates as the greatest survival story I've ever heard. But there's no way that happened. The guy managed to scramble onto a boulder near the brink of the falls, and the rangers plucked him off from there. That article is so vague and poorly written it's hard to say what happened but I'm guessing he didn't go over and got stranded as I just described. Must have been some tense moments marooned on that boulder, which no doubt was slick as all get out.

JL
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Jun 6, 2014 - 10:03am PT
Was up there after graduating from college and after hiking to the top a dip in the pool sure looked inviting. Luckily common sense kicked in.
PAUL SOUZA

Trad climber
Central Valley, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 6, 2014 - 10:05am PT
For clarification....

He was swept several hundred feet through the 675-foot-high Middle Cascade into an eddy in a pool of water, where he was able to climb onto a large boulder in the middle of the cascade.
WBraun

climber
Jun 6, 2014 - 10:08am PT
If he actually got torpedoed over the falls, took a nigh 700-foot whipper and survived,

Didn't happen.

He ventured at the base of the upper falls and got swept down into the gorge between the base of the upper falls and the top of the lower falls.

Quite few people have been swept down into this gorge area and some survived and some did not over the years.

There's a big rock half way down that saved a few of those individuals.

Since this year is a low run off year was a contributing factor to this particular survival.

If it was a normal run off year he most likely would not have survived.

The park has had numerous rescue responses in this particular gorge area over the years and will so in the future ......
Dave Kos

Social climber
Temecula
Jun 6, 2014 - 10:12am PT
For anyone who is still confused, like me:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yosemite_Falls

It was kinda like this, except for the final plunge:


PAUL SOUZA

Trad climber
Central Valley, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 6, 2014 - 10:16am PT
For those of you not familiar with the Middle Cascades....

http://www.supertopo.com/tr/Yosemite-Falls-The-Middle-Tier/t10665n.html

Looks like he stopped before the big 200 footer
Paul Martzen

Trad climber
Fresno
Jun 6, 2014 - 11:24am PT
Hey Werner,

Do you have a sense of the largest falls that this fellow went over? Not far into the gorge is a falls around 120 or 150 feet. There is a big eddy at the base on the left. On the other hand, there is a bit of a boulder clog upstream with only slides and small falls leading to it. The upstream boulder seems much more survivable than going over a 100 foot plus falls.
PAUL SOUZA

Trad climber
Central Valley, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 6, 2014 - 11:31am PT
Paul,

This boulder is a couple hundred feet upstream of the big 200' rapp.

Credit: Jason Price

climbski2

Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Jun 6, 2014 - 12:10pm PT
If that is where he stopped (which sounds about right) .. DAAAMN.. Lucky sonofabitch.

Middle earth descent is one of the best days I've spent in the valley. I'll do it again sometime I'm sure. One of the more intereting things you think about in there is what it would be like full, and are you sure there is no thunderstorm up in Tuolumne about to make thing interesting for you ... SCARY
PAUL SOUZA

Trad climber
Central Valley, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 6, 2014 - 12:13pm PT
My thoughts exactly, Derek.
Paul Martzen

Trad climber
Fresno
Jun 6, 2014 - 12:13pm PT
Thanks for the photo, Paul. That location seems much more survivable than if he had been swept past that point.
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Jun 6, 2014 - 12:34pm PT
Werner, as usual, speaks truth. If this had been a normal snowfall year, he probably would have been swept past the boulder and down the 200-footer -- or worse.

Thank God he's OK.

John
PAUL SOUZA

Trad climber
Central Valley, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 6, 2014 - 02:29pm PT
Update with Video!

http://www.nps.gov/yose/blogs/Hiker-Slips-and-Falls-into-the-Cascades-of-Yosemite-Falls.htm
Paul Martzen

Trad climber
Fresno
Jun 6, 2014 - 04:30pm PT
Thanks for the update links with photo and video, Mr Souza. You can see exactly which rock he is on. Kind of amazing that he survived the one slide that he did go over, immediately upstream of the rock. Very lucky that he did not get swept past in the main current. If he had not stopped there, he goes over the 15 footer in the photo and then inevitably over the 200 footer just below.

A lot of the slabs in that upper area are so low angle that you would not give em a second thought if they were not above the abyss. I mean nearly flat, but so water polished that it is like walking on a sidewalk with ice.
Psilocyborg

climber
Jun 6, 2014 - 04:34pm PT
Credit: Psilocyborg
Credit: Psilocyborg
moosedrool

climber
lost, far away from Poland
Jun 6, 2014 - 04:43pm PT
Looks like he survived by pure luck. I don't think he was able to swim and alter his course. Except of grabbing the rock, he couldn't do anything. Horrible experience.

Glad he is OK.

How much for the rescue? Or is it on us?

Andrzej
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Maestro, Ecosystem Ministry, Fatcrackistan
Jun 6, 2014 - 04:44pm PT
How much for the rescue? Or is it on us?

Could you cover me, please?

DMT
Messages 1 - 20 of total 30 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Return to Forum List
Post a Reply
 
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks


Try a free sample topo!

 
SuperTopo on the Web

Review Categories
Recent Route Beta
Recent Gear Reviews