80 Foot Fall Near Angel Food Wall

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Last night at approximately 6:30pm, SAR Officers received reports of a 61 year old man who had fallen approximately 80 feet near Angel Food Wall.  It was reported that the man had originally lost consciousness, was now awake, and had suffered injuries to his face.

As the call came in, the Mountain Rescue team was preparing to start one of its monthly training sessions and happened to already be geared up and in the area.

One Officer and one volunteer, a neurosurgeon, were initially flown by helicopter to the area.  After locating the fallen climber from the air, both officer and volunteer were dropped off about 200 feet above the climber.  As they made their way to the climber, one officer and 7 other volunteers prepared necessary gear to help with the rescue.  Upon initial medical assessment, it was found that the climber had suffered wounds to his face, including his nose and a laceration above his right eye.  Abrasions were also discovered on the lower portion of his back.

Although winds were extremely high, pilots were able to deposit a majority of the team to the LZ above the climber while two team members were dropped off at a location below.  All teams made their way to the location of the climber where he was treated and packaged into the litter.  From there, the team began a scree evacuation, moving the climber down the Angel Food Wall approach.

After nearly 4 hours of locating and extracting the climber, the canyon opened up and rescuers were able to find an LZ.  Pilots once again battled winds to remove the climber first, who was delivered to a waiting ambulance located at the Mt. Charleston overlook.  Once the climber was handed off, the climber's guide was flown out along with the rest of the team.  The climber was transported to UMC.

Here's a video of the night time helicopter extraction out of the base of the Angel Food Wall approach.