Topic Author's Original Post - Jul 6, 2013 - 11:50pm PT
Between 5:00 and 5:30 pm, I passed by El Cap Meadow where SAR personnel and 2 choppers were stationed. By 5:30, I was at Valley View when a red chopper made a big circle with a long hover behind the trees over the base of Bridalveil Fall, then flew away. Perhaps 5 minutes later, it came back in a similar pattern, this time dangling a long line beneath it. It hovered for a short while behind the trees, then rose up carrying a litter beneath it and headed off up the Valley. Any news on this event?
I am guessing that someone was scrambling up to the base of Bridalveil and slipped on the very slippery rocks, was incapacitated, and had to be lifted out. But other possibilities exist.
Worst one I ever dealt with was an avalanche victim on South Peak, near Virginia Lakes. This guy had been swept nearly 1,500 feet, and was completely buried.....except for his face. (Talk about lucky!)
Digging him out of the deposition was like trying to get someone out of a concrete pour. He was pretty confident "something" was wrong with one of his legs.
I was wearing a helmet cam, and kept it rolling as we got closer to freeing him.....and it was rolling when we discovered his left leg was quite literally behind him...the foot above his head. He had snapped his femur right at the hip socket.
What came out of his mouth as we put him in a Hare splint...well, I was concerned another avalanche might come down from the shock waves of his bellowing.
Fallon NAS came in and flew him out.
I'd post the video here...but...that screaming would do just about everyone in....permanently!
When I read all these reports I feel sooooo lucky as all that's ever happened to me in 31 years of climbing is a few close calls. Knock on wood.
I like to think it was my attention to safety but I know luck had a lot to do with it.