Busy Weekend at Red Rock and Mt. Charleston

Monday, November 8, 2010
With temperatures lingering in the low to mid 80's, outdoor enthusiasts headed for the hills to enjoy the wonderful weather this past weekend. The 13-mile loop that provides access to all that the Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area has to offer was packed with cars and people.

Basic's Class

Saturday morning started out with the Basic's Class at Red Springs. For the past month or so, the class has spent numerous hours learning and practicing rescue techniques in the classroom and on the tower. It was time to remove the class members from the controlled environment and plant them in an area that we conduct a large majority of our rescues. The class practiced raising and lowering with a loaded litter as well as passing a knot on rappel. Here's a picture of class members setting up an anchor system:

Mt. Charleston

At about 1:00 in the afternoon, the Mountain Rescue Team received its first call of the day. It was reported that a hiker was lost after leaving a marked trail at Mt. Charleston. Two SAR Officers and one Mountain Rescue volunteer boarded the Huey from Red Springs and headed to Mt. Charleston. The male hiker was found, and with the help of rescue personnel, was hoisted out by helicopter. He was uninjured.

Red Rock Canyon - Olive Oil

On Saturday night at 10:30pm, the Mountain Rescue volunteers were called out to Red Rock Canyon. Three climbers, two of which were in their late 60's, were caught in bad weather while climbing Olive Oil. Although all 3 climbers were uninjured, one climber was suffering from flu-like symptoms, which had caused their initial delay. With approximately 300 feet left to climb, the climbers chose to hunker down on a well-defined ledge to protect themselves from the storm. They were fortunate to be able to make a call for help using their cell phone.

By 11:30pm, the rain and wind storm began clearing up. Four volunteers and five SAR Officers were transported to the top of Olive Oil by helicopter where the team set up technical rescue systems. One rescuer was lowered to the victims where they were medically assessed. The climbers were raised to the top of the climb one by one and were extracted by helicopter. The climber that was experiencing flu-like symptoms was transported by ambulance to the hospital while the two remaining climbers were able to drive home on their own. The entire rescue took about 5 hours to accomplish with rescue personnel leaving Red Rock at 3:30am.