Good luck and fast healing to Mr Secor. All of us who have climbed and traveled in the Sierra, owe him thanks for his books that have helped get us where we needed to be.
He was a major inspiration for my own Ca peakbaging book.
I always defined a glissade as an accident with no injury at the end... it's been ages (38 years?!) since I last visited the Mt. Baldy hut, and climbed in the bowl... man, where does the time go? That peak was in my backyard while I was growing up in San Gabriel Valley... and in those days invisible a lot of the summer from the smog.
Anyway, my good wishes to RJ.. be careful out there!
I was skiing Baldy Saturday and stayed at the hut Friday night. I assisted with the rescue and can confirm it was R.J. that was injured. Here are the facts.
He slid at least 1000 feet as best we can tell, from in or near the bottom of one of the chutes to within about 200 yards of the ski hut.
He was hiking with some one he just met that day at the hut, it wasn't a pre-arranged thing.
He had severe head injuries, possibly other injuries.
He was conscious the whole time and was slightly confused (understandably). He knew a few of his rescuers which I think helped calm him down.
A few members from the Mt. Baldy Ski Patrol happened to be at the hut at the time. They coordinated the rescue and administered first aid. A nurse also happened to be at the hut. There was probably less then 5 minutes from the time he stopped sliding to the time the first people reached him.
The rest of us were just runners and muscle, hauling first aid supplies back and forth, as well as moving R.J. on a litter which we keep in the ski hut.
Two people headed down to call 911, they got them on a cell phone at about 1/2 way rock and the helicopter was on the way.
The air medics and helicopter arrived shortly there after. Sorry I don't know the exact times. It was amazing to watch the pilot manuever since he couldn't land.
Everyone did a great job to get him to evaced from the mountain as quickly as could be expected. Everyting was executed like it had been scripted. I have only met R.J. a few times. He is a true mountaineer and is tough as steel. I expect he will recover fully (but I'm not a doctor).
It was incredibly fortunate there were so many trained people around that day, the hut was open, and we got to him right away. It could have turned out much worse. I've been up there other times and not seen another human all day.
As a side note, we also escorted 4 asian students down the mountain Saturday evening. They had hiked up from the ski lifts wearing sweat pants, tennis shoes, and wind breakers. No hats, gloves, crampons, ice axes, boots, or other winter gear. They managed to summit but 1 of them was really having problems getting down. We got them in the hut, warmed them up, and walked out with them to make sure they got back to their car.
Way too much excitement for a day on Baldy.
BTW, the corn was excellent. I got the first tracks of the day!