2010

SELECTED RESCUES - YOSAR responded to 252 calls in 2010

 

DECEMBER

12-12-10 Female climber releases large rock onto herself, Tangerine Trip, El Capitan

On December 12, 2010, Yosemite Dispatch received a call from a 24 year old female climbing in a party of three on the Tangerine Trip on El Capitan. She reported being hit by a refrigerator-sized rock that she had dislodged onto herself on the 11th pitch of the route and was requesting assistance after attempting to self-rescue. The rock struck her head, shoulder, and back. She did not lose consciousness, but did sustain musculoskeletal injury to her back and a fracture to one vertebrae. A SAR team was organized and flown to the summit of El Cap in a National Guard Chinook helicopter the following morning at approximately 0815 hours.  Two rangers were lowered to the team of climbers.  All three climbers and both rangers were lowered to the base of El Cap in three progressions. The patient was hoisted from the base of El Cap to the meadow, where she was transferred to an NPS ambulance and taken to definitive care.  

 

OCTOBER

10-6-10 Missing Person Search - Saddlebag Lake / Virginia Canyon
On October 6, 2010 Yosemite National Park Search and Rescue Office established a unified command structure with the Mono County Sheriff’s Office for an overdue backpacker search in Yosemite National Park and Mono County.  The subject, a 70 year old male from California was on a 5 night one-way hike from Virginia Lakes Trailhead to Saddlebag Lake.  He was due out on October 6 at noon, but did not arrive.  Much of the intended route for the overdue subject was in the park.   However, the point last seen, and entry and exit points were located in Mono County, creating a unified command between the two jurisdictions. 

Two Tuolumne rangers arrived at the Lee Vining Command Post the evening of October 6 to fill command staff positions.  Mono County Search and Rescue had begun a hasty search that evening with three field teams in the Virginia Lakes and Saddlebag Lake area with no success.  The returning field teams reported very difficult conditions with cold temperatures and drifts of snow up to two feet deep.   The next morning, the search was expanded with more command staff positions, 7 field teams, 2 dog teams, and 2 helicopters.

The investigators on the case reported that Mr. Alden had completed similar trips in that area 25-30 times before with his wife. It was the first time Mr. Alden had done this trip alone.  Interestingly, last year the couple did the same trip and encountered bad weather.  They were unable to cross over Secret Pass leading to Saddlebag Lake.  They aborted the trip and hiked out to Tuolumne Meadows.    

During troop insertions, Helicopter 551 noticed tracks leading away from two circles stamped in the snow and an arrow pointing towards the southwest and Virginia Canyon.  Field teams and the helicopters were shifted to that area.  Shortly thereafter, Mr. Alden was found at 1420 hours by a field team near Summit Lake.  He was 26 hours overdue at that point.  He was moving slowly toward Virginia Lakes Trailhead.  He was tired and cold, but otherwise in good condition.  He was extracted to Tuolumne Meadows by Helicopter 551 and reunited with his wife. 

During the debrief, the subject reported that on Saturday, Oct 2 he was soaked from rain while hiking near McCabe Lakes. The next day it snowed 18 inches.  He spent the next three nights at the same location attempting to dry his equipment.  Due to the deep snow he decided to abort his attempt to cross Secret Pass (class 2-3 without snow) and return to Summit Lake via Virginia Canyon. 

This search was the third major search in the Tuolumne Sub District since the beginning of September. 

Submitted: Ranger J. Ramsdell

 

SEPTEMBER

9-21-10—Backpacker with High Altitude Pulmonary Edema—Little Yosemite Valley
At approximately 6:45 p.m. a party of backpackers hiking from Tuolumne Meadows (via the Vogelsang High Sierra camp) contacted NPS personnel stationed at the Little Yosemite Valley Ranger Station concerning a 48 year old male in their party who was experiencing difficulty breathing and extreme fatigue.  Several Search and Rescue technicians and one of the Little Yosemite Valley rangers performed medical assessment and determined that the amount of oxygen in the patient’s blood was extremely low.  They also noted gurgling sounds in the patient’s chest while listening to his lungs.  The patient was placed on oxygen and monitored while a rescue team from the Valley floor hiked up to the Little Yosemite Valley campground.  The patient was packaged in a litter, carried down the trail, and transported to an awaiting ambulance. It was later determined in a hospital setting that the patient was suffering from High Altitude Pulmonary Edema. He spent several days in the hospital recovering. 

9-18-10—Speed climber sustains serious injury on the Nose—El Capitan
A climber sustained serious leg and chest injuries while seconding the pendulum traverse between Sickle Ledge and Dolt Tower when he swung and impacted the eastern wall.  Several rangers were inserted through a short haul maneuver.  The patient was stabilized and short hauled in a litter from the face.  He was then transferred to an air ambulance and taken to Memorial Hospital in Modesto.  The injured climber’s partner rappelled to the ground without Park Service assistance. 

 

AUGUST

8-24-10—Technical Rescue and Medical Assist of climber with broken femur on the Nose—El Capitan
In the afternoon of August 24th, a 47 year old Korean climber suffered a fracture to his right femur after dislodging a large rock on the climbing route, the Nose, on El Capitan.  Little information was obtained from the initial report due to a significant language barrier.  A group of six SAR technicians were flown to the summit of El Capitan in order to initiate a technical lowering operation.  After further communications with the party, it was determined that the climber was experiencing paralysis to his lower extremities and an expedited extraction would be necessary.  A short-haul operation was employed after two medics were lowered to the party.  They stabilized and packaged the patient in a litter.  A line with a bean bag on the end was thrown to the medics and patient from the helicopter.  The medic attending to the litter attached himself and the litter to the short-haul line and then released from the wall.  The patient was flown to El Capitan Meadow where an Airmed helicopter was waiting.  The additional three members of the Korean climbing team were unable to lower themselves off due to inexperience and, therefore, also had to be rescued.  Two subsequent lowering operations were conducted in order to evacuate the remaining members of the party from the route.

 

8-11-10—Climber fall on Munginella—Five Open Books area
At approximately 2:15 p.m., a 911 call was received reporting that a 31-year-old female had taken a 30 to 40 foot fall and suffered a head injury on the climbing route Munginella. After a parkmedic and team of Search and Rescue personnel arrived on scene, it was determined that the patient would require transport via air ambulance to more definitive care. The patient was evacuated down a scree slope to the Lower Falls access road by lowering the litter from an anchor with a rope.  She was then transported by ambulance to Ahwahnee Meadow where she was flown to a larger hospital. 

 

8-7-10—Swiftwater Rescue of several victims at the Vernal Falls footbridge
At approximately 2:00 p.m., the Yosemite Emergency Communications Center received multiple 911 calls reporting that two persons had been swept under the Vernal Falls footbridge and were stranded on a boulder in the middle of the river.  The accident occurred when first victim got swept downstream after jumping into the river above the bridge to retrieve a fallen shoe. The second victim jumped in after in order to rescue her friend. Both victims were swept through Class V water under the bridge. The first victim self-extricated unharmed after being swept into an eddy. The second victim was swept an additional 100 feet downstream where she washed up face-down against a boulder mid-stream. A third bystander boulder hopped to the rock and pulled the second victim out of the river. Both were then stranded on top of the rock in the middle of the river. A high line technique was used to extricate the stranded persons. The second victim was transported from the Happy Isles trailhead via ambulance to the Yosemite Medical Clinic for follow-up care. 


A National Park Service ranger prepares to rescue the
stranded victims in a swiftwater rescue operation.

8-2-10—Group of hikers send SOS signal when member of party injures ankle—Royal Arches/North Dome area
At approximately 9:30 p.m., the Yosemite Emergency Call Center received an emergency call from a visitor who had seen an SOS signal in the area between Royal Arches and North Dome.  Rangers confirmed that this signal was visible and were able to determine that one member of the party was injured by communicating with the group through flashing lights and a loud speaker.  Search and Rescue (SAR) personnel climbed up to the group via the Royal Arches climbing route and located the party of five backpackers who had become lost.  The party was attempting to hike from the Snow Creek trail to Yosemite Falls.  One of the hikers injured his ankle when the group intentionally strayed from the trail. SAR personnel determined that a short-haul evacuation was the most appropriate given the nature of the injury and the topography of the terrain.  The following morning, the patient was short-hauled from the scene and the remainder of the party descended the North Dome gully to the Valley floor. 

 

JULY

7-31-10—Hiker with collapsed lung evacuated from summit of Half Dome
At approximately 8:30 p.m., Yosemite dispatch received a report of a 31-year-old male experiencing severe difficulty breathing, dizziness, and an inability to stand on the summit of Half Dome.  An off-duty paramedic from the Sacramento Fire Department was on scene and was under the impression that the patient was acutely sick. Several Rangers trained as parkmedics hiked to the top of Half Dome that evening to stabilize the patient through the night. He was evacuated via helicopter at approximately 7:00 a.m. the following morning and transferred to the Yosemite Medical clinic. The patient was diagnosed with a spontaneous pnuemothorax, a non-trauma related injury in which air collects in the chest outside of the lung and causes the lung to collapse.

7-7-20—Hiker dislocates shoulder near Yosemite Park boundary—Donahue Pass
At approximately 4:45 p.m., a Yosemite ranger received a verbal report of a man with a severely dislocated or broken shoulder near the park boundary at Donahue Pass.  Mono County officials dispatched a ground rescue team and requested the assistance of the Yosemite helicopter assets.  Helicopter 551 flew to the patient’s known GPS coordinates, retrieved the patient, and flew him to the Crane Flat helibase where they rendezvoused with the park ambulance. The patient was transported to the Yosemite Medical Clinic. 

7-18-10—Several hikers sustain 20-foot fall over waterfall at the Inner Gorge of Yosemite Falls
A 26-year-old male fell approximately twenty feet over a waterfall in the Inner Gorge of Yosemite Falls after slipping on wet, mossy rock. He was attempting to locate his friend who had just experienced the same fall. Both victims were able to self-rescue from the pool they had fallen into with the help from a third person in their party who remained unharmed on the side of the Inner Gorge rim. The victims were brought supplies to endure the night by their friend and several Valley SAR members. The following morning, the victims were extricated from their location via a helicopter short-haul maneuver.

 

7-9-10—Free soloist fatality on Eichorn Pinnacle—Tuolumne
A 31-year-old female fell approximately 300 to 400 feet while down-climbing unroped from the summit of Eichorn Pinnacle. She had successfully "free-soloed" to the summit of Cathedral Peak earlier that day with a friend.  She sustained traumatic injuries and was deceased when rescuers arrived on scene.

 

JUNE

6-29-10—Climber stranded during rappel—Serenity Crack/Sons of Yesterday
At approximately 5:00 p.m. Yosemite dispatch received a report of a climber stranded at the top of the second pitch of Serenity Crack, a climb located near the Ahwahnee Hotel. Two climbers were “double rope” rappelling with one 60 meter and one 70 meter rope from the top of the first pitch of Son’s of Yesterday, a climb that succeeds the top of Serenity Crack.  The first of the party to rappel bypassed the anchor at the top of Serenity Crack and rappelled to the anchor at the top of the second pitch of the climb. The first anchor that the party was rappelling from is not directly in line with the anchor at the top of Serenity’s second pitch. When the second rappelled down the fall line of the top anchor, she was a significant distance to the left of her partner and the anchor. Her partner, who had been holding the ends of the ropes, was unable to pull her over. He let go of the ropes and the second rappelled down Super Slide, a route to looker’s left of Serenity Crack. The second safely rappelled down to the ground and subsequently contacted dispatch to request assistance for her partner, still stranded at the anchor on Serenity. Two SAR team members climbed up Serenity Crack to the stranded climber and assisted him in rappelling to the ground.

6-24-10—Three unrelated hikers injure lower extremities on same section of trail—John Muir Trail (between Happy Isles trailhead and Nevada Falls)
At approximately 5:15 p.m., the Yosemite Emergency Call Center received an emergency call from a 33-year-old female who had fallen and injured her ankle on the John Muir Trail (JMT) just below Nevada Falls on a section known as the “Ice Cut.”  Responders were dispatched from the Little Yosemite Valley Ranger Station to aid the patient.  While in route, the responders received a second report of a 54-year-old male complaining of inner thigh spasms and cramping who was unable to continue walking.  Both patients, unrelated, were located less than 1/8th of a mile apart on the same section of the JMT. While the Little Yosemite Valley responders were caring for these patients, a third report was received of a 65-year-old woman who had fallen and injured her ankle.  She was also on the JMT, not far from where the other two patients were located.  A mounted team of two horses and two riders and a litter carry-out team from the Valley floor were sent out to assist in the transportation of the patients.  The injured male was carried out on the litter and the other two injured females were transported to the trailhead on horseback.  All three were taken to the Yosemite Medical Clinic after arriving back to the trailhead. 

6-23-10—Female hiker takes tumbling fall on Half Dome cables
At approximately 8:30 p.m., a 26-year-old female approached the backcountry Rangers at the Little Yosemite Valley station, complaining of malaise and nausea after taking a tumbling fall near the bottom of the Half Dome cables.  She was descending the cables after summiting Half Dome when, at approximately the 13th stanchion up from the bottom, she fell.  She tumbled until she arrested her fall three stanchions below.  During the fall, she struck the left upper quadrant of her abdomen. She was able to ambulate down to the Little Yosemite Valley Ranger Station where she requested assistance.  She was cared for through the night as her condition worsened.  The following morning, a helicopter evacuation was enacted.  The patient was carried to the helicopter in a litter and then flown to the Crane Flat helibase.  From there, she was transferred to an air ambulance and taken to a larger hospital. 

6-21-10—Male hiker envenomated by rattlesnake—Yosemite Falls Trail
At approximately 12:55 p.m., Yosemite dispatch received a 911 call reporting that a 61-year-old male hiker had been bitten on the foot by a rattlesnake below Columbia Point on the Yosemite Falls Trail.  Initially, the patient felt able to continue hiking down the trail, however, was advised to cease hiking and remain in place until a rescue team arrived. Approximately 30 minutes later, as eight search and rescue team members and a park service paramedic were en route to the scene, the reporting party phoned dispatch stating that the patient was experiencing “hallucinations.” Shortly after, the SAR team arrived on scene. It was concluded that a positive envenomation had occurred.  The team packaged and carried the patient via litter to the Camp 4 parking lot where the patient was transferred to an ambulance. The patient was treated at the Yosemite Medical Clinic and subsequently transferred via air ambulance to a medical center in Modesto for more definitive care.

6-14-10-Male Climber Injured in Fall-Washington’s Column – Prow
At 9:30 a.m. Yosemite Dispatch received a 911 call from a climbing team on the 8th pitch of the Prow. The injured climber had sustained an estimated 30’ leader fall, landing on Tapir Terrace before being arrested by his rope. The male subject was complaining of severe pain to his upper femur. Due to the severity of the injury, the park’s helicopter was immediately dispatched to the Ahwahnee meadow. Two Helicopter Rescue Team members performed a recon flight of the area to assess the possibility of short-hauling the injured subject directly from Tapir Terrace. Due to the lack of rotor clearance that would be required to insert rescue personnel onto the ledge the decision was made to conduct a lowering operation from the top of the route. The lack of landing zones on top of the Column required personnel and gear to be short-hauled to the site. The team, with assistance of a spotter in the meadow, lowered rescue personnel to the victim’s location. Once secured in a litter, the injured climber and a rescuer were lowered 1200’ to the base of the route. A secondary team was positioned at the base of the route and carried the injured climber away from the wall to a nearby short haul site. The park helicopter, H-551, short hauled the climber and a Paramedic Ranger to the Ahwahnee Meadow to meet with an awaiting air ambulance. Meanwhile the rescue ropes were hauled back up to the original accident site. The second rescuer and the victim’s climbing partner were then lowered to the ground. Following rescue gear being sling-loaded from the summit of Washington’s Column, all of the rescuers descended North Dome Gulley.

 

MAY

5-6-10-Female Climber Injured in Fall-East Buttress of Middle Cathedral
At 4:15 p.m. Dispatch received a 911 call from a climber in the Housekeeping Camp area. The climber had picked up a distress call on his family band radio from two climbers on the 8th pitch of the East Buttress of Middle Cathedral. The reporting party relayed to dispatch that the 28-year-old female lead climber had fallen approximately 40 foot, knocking her temporarily unconscious and injuring her back, shoulder, and neck. A spotter was deployed to the El Capitan Meadow with spotting scope, binoculars and a family band radio, a hasty climbing team with rescue gear and a paramedic were deployed to climb the route to the injured climber; a CHP helicopter from Fresno was requested for the hoist extraction, and fire and EMS personnel staged at El Capitan Meadow. The hasty climbing team reached the patient at 6:38 p.m. and the CHP helicopter lowered the litter and packaging equipment to the rescuers below. CHP extracted the patient at 7:38 p.m. and the patient was transferred to Air Med 42 to be transported to a medical facility in Modesto.

5-5-10-Assist Out from Vernal Falls Footbridge-Mist Trail
A 911 call was received by Yosemite Dispatch reporting a 70-year-old female had taken a ground level fall about ¼ mile downhill from the Vernal Falls footbridge and sustained a laceration to her head. Two Park Rangers responded up the trail to the patient’s location and arrived at 3:29 p.m. The patient’s wounds were treated and she was assisted to the trailhead where she was released from medical care upon her request.

5-2-10-Hiker Injures Ankle-Upper Yosemite Falls Trail
Yosemite Search and Rescue office received a report of a female hiker with a broken ankle near the top of the Yosemite Falls Trail. Park Rangers spoke with the injured hiker via cell phone and she stated that she was unable to bear any weight on her ankle. California Highway Patrol (CHP) helicopter (H40) was requested to assist with the rescue.  A hoist rescue was deemed the best course of action due to the patient’s position at the top of the trail, the late time of day, and the exposure to rescuers. SAR Siters and Park Rangers were sent up the trail to assist in the hoist operation and a litter team was dispatched in the event that a hoist rescue could not be performed. H40 and one Park Ranger were dispatched to the scene and the litter and packaging materials were lowered to rescuers below. The patient was hoisted and delivered to the Ahwahnee Meadow at 6:55 p.m. The patient was transported to the Yosemite Medical Clinic where she was treated for a broken ankle and released.

5-1-10-Man Stranded Below Vernal Falls Foot Bridge-Merced River
On May 1, 2010 at approximately 1:20 p.m. an emergency call reported that one male was stuck on a large rock just below the Vernal Falls Foot Bridge along the Merced River. The man was reported to be unable to move off the rock safely on his own due to the surrounding steep and loose terrain. Two Park Rangers responded to the area of the foot bridge and temporarily secured the man using a rope tied to a tree. Additional resources were dispatched to the scene and a technical raise system was utilized and an attendant removed the man from his precarious position back to the trial.

5-1-10-Injured Ankle Warrants Carry-Out -Upper Yosemite Falls Trail
On May 1, 2010 at about 4:30 p.m. a cell phone call to Yosemite Dispatch reported a 31-year-old female with a fractured ankle on the Upper Yosemite Falls Trail near the inner-gorge straight. A hasty team comprised of two Park Rangers was dispatched immediately and a carry-out team was assembled. Direct communications with the patient were established via cell phone. The patient was treated by a park medic and carried out to an ambulance at the Camp Four parking lot where she was then transported to the Yosemite Medical Clinic for definitive care.

 

APRIL

4-24-10-Missing Alzheimer’s Patient-Curry Village
On April 24, 2010 at 4:15 p.m., park dispatch received a report of a missing 81-year-old male with Alzheimer’s and cardiac problems from the Curry Village shower house area. The man was reportedly last seen by his wife walking from the Curry East parking lot toward the shower house. A hasty search of the Curry Village area was conducted by DNC security and staff. Dispatch made a park-wide announcement to be on the lookout for the missing man throughout the valley and on YCS Shuttle buses. Hasty teams searched areas in Curry Village, Happy Isles, Campgrounds and Bus stop hubs before locating the patient near the Village Store after a YCS bus driver spotted him at 5:30 p.m. The man was found to be in good condition and was transported back to his wife.

4-3-10-Medical Aid-Upper Yosemite Falls Trail
On April 3, 2010, at 1:15 p.m., Yosemite National Park Dispatch received a medical emergency call on the Upper Yosemite Falls Trail above Columbia Point. The patient was a 17 year old female on a school trip. The patient had recently suffered from pneumonia and presented with an altered level of consciousness and fatigue. Two Park Rangers responded up the trial to provide medical care while additional personnel responded as a litter carry-out team. The patient was packaged, transported down the trail, and taken to Yosemite Medical Clinic via ambulance.

4-6-10-Injured Day Hiker-John Muir Trail
On April 6, 2010, at 2:39 p.m., a 911 call was received by Yosemite Park Dispatch regarding an injured day-hiker on the paved section of the John Muir Trail. The reporting party stated that a woman had taken a ground level fall and was confused. Park Rangers and SAR personnel responded to the SAR cache to assemble resources while one Park Ranger was dispatched directly to the trail to provide advanced life support. Upon arrival at 2:55 p.m. the patient was alert and conversing normally. A carry-out team of three arrived on scene and the patient was packaged and transported to the trailhead where an ambulance transported the patient to the Yosemite Medical Clinic for further assessment.

4-7-10-Injured Day Hiker-Indian Caves
On April 7, 2010, at 1:55 p.m., Yosemite National Park Dispatch received a report of a ground level fall at the Indian Caves. The patient, a 16 year old male, fell and struck his head and sustained a head laceration. Two Park Rangers responded from the SAR cache to the scene where the patient was assessed. The patient was able to walk out with assistance from the Park Rangers and transported the patient to the Yosemite Medical Clinic.

4-17-10-Helo Rescue of Fallen Climber -Royal Arches

On April 17, 2010 at 9:55 a.m. Park Dispatch notified Park Rangers that a 39-year-old male had fallen approximately 15 feet while climbing on the Royal Arches regular route. The injured climber’s friend communicated via cell phone with Park Rangers at the SAR cache and reported that the patient had fallen 5-6 meters and landed on his hip. The two climbers were in a secure place at the top of the 7th The patient was transferred to a medivac helicopter in the Ahwahnee Meadow. The patient was flown to a medical facility in Modesto. All rescue climbers began their descent at 2:05 pm and arrived back at the SAR cache at 3:37 p.m. pitch near a dead tree, but that the patient was in severe pain and required assistance. At 10:36 a.m., Park Rangers climbed up the Royal Arches wall to provide basic life support. The patient had noticeable deformity to the right pelvis. The park requested the aviation assistance of a California Highway Patrol (CHP) helicopter. The CHP and medivac helicopter landed in Ahwahnee Meadow at 12:30 p.m. The patient was packaged and hoisted off the wall by CHP and delivered to the Ahwahnee Meadow landing zone at 1:47 p.m.

 

MARCH

3-30-10-Two Students Injured in Rockfall-Upper Yosemite Falls Trail
On Tuesday, March 30, 2010 at approximately 10:42 a.m., Yosemite Dispatch received a 911 call from a School Group hiking along the Upper Yosemite Falls Trail reporting that rockfall had caused injuries to two students in their hiking group. The group was hiking downhill a ¼ mile from Columbia Point where several students stopped to replenish their water bottles from a water stream adjacent to the trial. Suddenly, twenty football sized rocks crashed down amongst the students. A thirteen year old boy and girl were struck by the rocks and injured. The female student had injuries to her right leg and the male student had an injury to his left knee. Two rangers responded up the trial with advanced life support equipment and a carry-out team was dispatched up the trail. The carry-out team arrived with two litters and other rescue equipment at 12:00 p.m. and both patients were carried out and transported to Yosemite Medical Clinic. The trial was closed to further hiking at the request of park geologists pending assessment of the event and will remain closed until the release point is evaluated.

3-29-10-Woman Falls- Upper Yosemite Falls Trail
Yosemite Communications received a 911 report at 1 p.m. of a female who had fallen on the Upper Yosemite Falls trail. One ranger was sent up the Upper Yosemite Falls trail at 1:35 p.m. and arrived at the patient’s side. The patient denied care against medical advice and the litter carry-out team was canceled. The patient was assisted to her vehicle by the ranger and self-transported to the Yosemite Clinic.

3-28-10 – Climber Stuck in Cave-Reed’s Pinnacle
On Sunday, March 28, 2010 at approximately 5:00 p.m. Yosemite Dispatch received a report that a climber was stuck in the crawl through on Reed’s Pinnacle and was asking for assistance. Two NPS Rangers prepared to climb to the top of Reed’s Direct to access the stuck climber from the prominent ledge system. Communication with the partner of the stuck climber was established at the base of the west end of the pinnacle and with the assistance from another climbing party was able to free himself from the crawl through and all parties rappelled to the base at 6:15 p.m.

3-28-10 – Rescue of Sick Snowshoe/Backpacker-Glacier Point Road

At approximately 9:00 p.m. the Yosemite Emergency Dispatch Center received a report of a sick snowshoe/backpacker on the Glacier Point Road about 8 miles from Badger Pass Ski Area.  An NPS Ranger got the reporting party’s telephone number and called to get more information. The RP explained that she had received a phone call from two friends who were traveling on the unplowed Glacier Point Road, about 8 miles from Badger Pass. The female patient had been having severe debilitating headaches and nausea and was requesting help. Three NPS Rangers responded to Badger Pass with two snowmobiles and arrived at the patient between Pothole Meadows and the Clark Range view at about 10:15 p.m. The patient was transported via snowmobile back to the Badger Pass Ranger Station at 10:52 p.m. and refused transport by ambulance, but would transport by personal vehicle to the Yosemite Medical Clinic.

3-22-10 - Helo Rescue of Collapsed Hiker - Upper Yosemite Falls
At approximately 3:30 p.m. on Monday, March 22, 2010, the Yosemite Emergency Dispatch Center received a call regarding a collapsed hiker on the Upper Yosemite Fall Trail. The hiker, a 17-year old student from Upland, California, was on a hiking trip with the Yosemite Institute. He was with a group of approximately eight students, with several adult chaperones and instructors. This hike is a regular part of the curriculum experienced by the students of the Yosemite Institute, a week-long residential environmental education program.

The hiker collapsed near the summit of the Upper Yosemite Fall Trail. The trail is a strenuous, 3.5 mile hike that begins in Yosemite Valley.

Two Yosemite National Park Rangers were dispatched to the scene to assist the hiker. Once the Park Rangers reached the hiker, a California Highway Patrol helicopter assisted in hoisting the injured hiker. The young man was then airlifted to the ChildrenÕs Hospital in Madera, California. The cause of the hikerÕs collapse is unknown. (NPS Press Release by K Cobb 3/23/10)

3-13-10 - Cardiac Fatality - Upper Yosemite Falls Trail
Rangers responded to a report of a 59 year old man who had collapsed on the trail. CPR was in progress while the hasty team headed up the trail. Cardiac protocols were followed by the medic's on scene, but they were unable to revive the patient and he was declared deceased. A carry-out team packaged the patient and transported him down the trail.

3-8-10 - Search for Overdue Skier - Glacier Point Road
A search was initiated for an overdue skier who was reportedly skiing along the Glacier Point Road during the day of March 8th. He was not prepared to spend the night out as he only had a small amount of food and water and light clothing. An early morning initial sweep of the trailheads and Bridalveil Campground by snowmobile did not turn up any clues. Additional resources were sent out on skis and snowshoes to search the backcountry ski trails. While snowmobiling to their search assignment, two rangers located the overdue skier returning to Badger Pass along the Glacier Point Road. He was reported to be in good condition after spending the night in a snow hole that he dug near a pump house.

 

FEBRUARY 

2-7-10 - Lengthy Oversnow Evacuation of Ill Skier - Ostrander Lake
On Sunday, February 7th, rangers at the Badger Pass Ranger Station received a radio transmission from the Ostrander Ski Hut reporting that a park visitor staying at the hut was in respiratory distress from pulmonary edema. The hut keeper reported that the 48-year-old man had attempted to ski back to Badger Pass that morning but was forced to return to Ostrander Lake due to his medical condition. The Ostrander Lake area had received several feet of new snow over the previous 48 hours in addition to over eight feet of new snow that had fallen in a number of winter storms over the last two weeks. As access to the ski hut was delayed due to the difficult trail conditions, a helicopter hoist operation was launched at the same time as a ground rescue team departed for Ostrander Lake from Badger Pass. After several attempts to take off from Fresno, a rescue mission by a California Highway Patrol hoist-capable helicopter was cancelled due to fog and low clouds. A second helicopter capable of landing on snow was ordered from Columbia, and was able to land in Yosemite Valley to pick up ranger/medic Jeff Webb. This second helicopter was unable to fly to Ostrander Lake, though, due to low cloud cover. Meanwhile, the ground team reached the ski hut. Ranger/medics Chad Andrews and Keith Lober provided medical care, and, with the assistance of Yosemite SAR team members, Badger Pass ski patrol personnel, and several park visitors staying at Ostrander, began extricating the patient in an over-snow rescue litter. Additional SAR team members arrived from Badger Pass to help complete the nine-hour-long rescue mission.

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