Inyo Sheriff Officials report a tragic fall in the Whitney region Monday. Sgt. Keith Hardcastle reports that the Sheriffs Department received the call for help at about 8:30 in the morning Monday.
48 year old Los Angeles resident Kent Ashcraft was reported to have slid down an ice chute near the Mt. Whitney Trail. Hardcastle explains that the man had been climbing the ice chute that leads to Thor Peak, along with his 18 year old son and two friends.
The group had stopped near the top of the chute to take pictures when the ice Ashcraft was standing on broke causing the fall. Ashcraft struck his head on protruding boulders causing major head injuries and continued to fall 300 feet down the ice chute.
When Ashcrafts son and friends reached the man they started CPR. Lone Pine Fire, Inyo Search and Rescue, and the Forest Service responded. When the first rescuers arrived on scene, the man was dead and CPR had been discontinued, Hardcastle reports.
H-80, the CHP helicopter out of Victorville used a winch to hoist the victim from the ground and transport Ashcrafts body to the Lone Pine Airport.
Hardcastle reports that while Kent Ashcraft was from out of the area, he often climbed in the Sierra. Ashcraft also visited and spoke at the Mormon Church in Lone Pine.