With many visitors to the Eastern Sierra over the Labor Day holiday, Inyo County Search and Rescue volunteers had a busy weekend. Friday, SAR volunteers headed to Mt. Whitney to help a man who had badly lacerated his foot and his hand in a fall.
On Tuesday, the volunteers got up early to help a woman from San Diego, who was injured high on Mt. Humphreys, to the west of Bishop. On Monday, the woman and her climbing partner had been on their way down from the summit, when falling rocks struck the victim in the chest. This in turn knocked the woman down, leading to a forty foot, tumbling fall.
Too injured to walk out of the mountains, the female subject stayed where she was with warm clothes and space blankets while her partner ran for help.
The female victim then settled in for a cold night out at close to 13,000 feet in elevation. The partner was able to get out late Monday night and call the Inyo Sheriffs Department. Early Tuesday, Inyo SAR Volunteers were flown into the area by H-40, the CHP Helicopter.
With no flat landing zones in the rugged area, the Highway Patrol pilot hovered over a snow field about 1000 feet below the victim to let the rescuers out. When the SAR team members reached the victim, they were relieved to find that she had survived the night. With daylight burning, the SAR team then packaged the patient in a body splint and put her in a litter to be lowered down the steep and rocky gully.
Through difficult, loose and dirty terrain, the SAR Team members lowered the victim about a thousand feet down the gully, to a snowfield where the CHP pilot could hover low enough to get the patient on board.
The victim was then flown to the Bishop Airport, to rendezvous with Symons Ambulance for the ride to Northern Inyo Hospital.