Inyo SAR Incident Mt. Russell 4/8

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Inyo SAR Incident Mt. Russell 4/8

Post by maverick » Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:39 am

Inyo Co Sherrif's Dept:
On the afternoon of Sunday, April 8th, Inyo County Sherriff received an emergency satellite transmission requesting a rescue near Mt. Whitney in the High Sierra. A party of four climbers attempting to summit Mt. Russell (14,088 ft) had gotten off route while descending and was stuck on the side of a cliff above a steep snowy couloir at around 13,000’ in elevation. The party had no way of getting either up or down.

Inyo County Sherriff activated a response from the Inyo County Search and Rescue team in Bishop and the California Highway Patrol Inland Division H80 helicopter out of Apple Valley. At approximately 5:30 PM, CHP H80 was able to locate the four subjects on Mt. Russell and lower an Inyo SAR team member via a 100’ cable hoist to their position. The Inyo SAR member secured the climbers on the cliff and hooked up one of the subjects to be hoisted into the helicopter.

The helicopter took the first subject to the Lone Pine airport and refueled. When the helicopter returned, the rescue team hoisted the remaining three subjects and dropped them to their camp near Lower Boyscout Lake one at a time. The Inyo SAR member was finally hoisted into the helicopter at approximately 7:30 PM and taken to Lone Pine right as it was getting dark.

Because of a big winter season, the High Sierra and the area around Mt Whitney still has a significant amount of snow. Harsh and life-threatening alpine conditions will likely remain in the Whitney area throughout the summer, and climbers and hikers attempting Whitney and surrounding peaks need to be properly prepared and experienced to deal with alpine conditions.

Inyo SAR and the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office would like to deeply thank the CHP Inland Division Air Operations crew for their professionalism and extreme skill while aiding in this rescue.

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