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Weekend rescues at Rocky

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Highline rescue operations in the Roaring River, Rocky Mountain National Park. Photo courtesy Rocky Mountain National Park

Courtesy National Park Service

June 25, 2017

Rocky Mountain National Park’s Search and Rescue Team members were called to several incidents on the weekend of June 24-25, 2017, including one where an 18-year-old male was rescued via a highline operation across the Roaring River above the Alluvial Fan.

On Saturday afternoon, the 18 year old from Kansas had been rock hopping on this section of the Roaring River when he became stuck on the west side of the river. Park rangers were notified at 2:30 p.m. The young man’s family members were on the east side of the river. Rangers assessed the situation with members of Estes Valley Fire Protection District’s Dive and Swiftwater Rescue Team, and after considering the complexity and length of time the rescue would likely take, it was determined that it would be safest to conduct the rescue on Sunday morning. Rangers provided the man with warm clothes, a sleeping bag and food overnight. A ranger stayed overnight on the other side of the river from the young man…

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Two Climbers Rescued from the Kahiltna Glacier

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Courtesy National Park Service

June 5, 2017

TALKEETNA, Alaska – Denali National Park and Preserve rangers responded to two concurrent mountaineering incidents starting in the early morning hours of Monday, June 5. In addition to a routine medical evacuation, mountaineering rangers and guides rescued a critically injured climber in a labor intensive, 14-hour crevasse rescue effort.

First, NPS Ranger Dan Corn and five mountaineering Volunteers-in-Parks (VIPs) were descending to the Kahiltna Basecamp around 11 p.m. on Sunday, June 4 when they encountered a sick solo climber at the bottom of Heartbreak Hill at 7,000 feet. VIP Medic Elizabeth Keane performed a physical assessment and determined that Michael Metzler, age 23 of Carnation, Washington, was suffering from an acute abdominal illness. The team provided pain medication and then assisted Metzler to the Kahiltna Basecamp.

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Helicopter rescue at Rocky

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Rocky Mountain National Park receives assistance from the Colorado High-Altitude Army National Guard Aviation Program to evacuate injured man from park. Courtesy Rocky Mountain National Park

 
Man Rescued From East Inlet Trail In Rocky Mountain National Park
May 6, 2017

At 8:30 p.m. Friday night, May 5, park rangers were contacted via cell phone about an incident on the East Inlet Trail on the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park, according to the National Park Service. A 19-year-old man from Tennessee and two friends were backpacking in the area. They were roughly 3.5 miles from the trailhead, scrambling over steep terrain, boulders and downed trees when a large boulder fell on the man’s leg. The man’s friends were able to free him from under the rock.

Search and Rescue Team members reached the man at approximately 11:30 p.m. A number of agencies assisted Rocky Mountain National Park on this incident including Grand County EMS, Grand Lake Fire Protection District, Grand County Sheriff’s Office and Grand County Search and Rescue. The man was located in steep terrain, cliffed out on one side and steep scree on the other. Due to the terrain and darkness, the team of fifteen members stayed put through the night and provided advanced medical care to the injured man.  

 Because of the nature of the man’s leg injury and the location, park rangers requested assistance from the Colorado High-Altitude Army National Guard Aviation Program to assist in evacuating the man via a hoist operation, using a winch operated cable. This occurred at 8:15 a.m. this morning. The man was flown to Harbison Meadow in Rocky Mountain National Park where he was transported by ground ambulance to Middle Park Medical Center. Rescue team members are hiking out to the trailhead.

Backcountry skier rescued at Grand Teton

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A missing skier was rescued Wednesday after two nights in the backcountry of Grand Teton National Park after exiting a backcountry gate leaving the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Jackson, Wy., according to the National Park Service.

Two skiers were reported overdue by friends at approximately 7 p.m. Monday night, February 20, when they did not return from skiing at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. The men were identified as 30-year old Chris Prem from Destin, Florida, and 31-year old Mike Syverson from Telluride, Colo.

The emergency call to 911 prompted a conference call with Teton County Sheriff’s Office and Teton County Search and Rescue with Grand Teton National Park to initiate a search for the men. Information to help determine a search area was very limited, other than it was believed the men planned to exit the resort and ski the nearby backcountry. At approximately 10 p.m. the Teton County Sheriff’s Office successfully got a cell phone ping to help determine that the missing skiers were in the Granite Canyon area of Grand Teton National Park. This information greatly helped to narrow the search area.

The National Park Service took the lead with the search. Due to avalanche danger and darkness, resources were gathered to begin an aerial and ground search for early Tuesday morning.

At approximately 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, February 21, a resort tram operator spending the night near the top of the tram was awakened by one of the missing skiers, Prem. An emergency call was made to alert rescue personnel. Prem was uninjured, and communicated that he had separated from Syverson because he had gear that would allow him to travel back to the summit for help. He also had a GPS coordinate from a phone app that could help to locate his friend. Prem spent the night atop the mountain.

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Climber rescued from Mount Hunter

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April 3, 2016

TALKEETNA, AK — Denali National Park and Preserve rescue personnel conducted a short-haul helicopter rescue of a stranded climber on Mount Hunter (14,573-feet) on Sunday afternoon, April 3, according to the National Park Service. Masatoshi Kuriaki, age 42 of Fukuoka, Japan, was evacuated from an elevation of 8,600 feet on Mount Hunter’s West Ridge climbing route. He was on Day 75 of a planned 65-day solo expedition.

Denali National Park and Preserve’s Communications Center received an SOS notification at 7:30 a.m. on Friday, April 1 from Kuriaki’s SPOT unit, a device which provides GPS tracking and limited one way emergency communication. Denali mountaineering rangers then requested initial assistance from the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center. At 10 a.m. that morning, the Alaska Air National Guard launched an HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter from the 210th Rescue Squadron and an HC-130 King aircraft from the 211th Rescue Squadron, each with a team of Air National Guard Pararescuemen from the 212th Rescue Squadron. Marginal weather prevented the Pave Hawk crew from approaching Mount Hunter; however the crew aboard the HC-130 was able to make positive radio contact with the stranded climber at 10:30 a.m. on April 1. More

Climbing parties rescued from Teton’s Stettner Couloir

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mountain_climbing_icon_1Two climbing parties were rescued in an around-the-clock evacuation effort after they became stranded while descending Grand Teton over the weekend.

Here’s the National Park Service account of the rescue:

Climbers Stranded Overnight in Stettner Couloir Suffer Hypothermia, Prompt Rescue

Aug. 19, 2015

In the early morning hours of Sunday, Aug. 16, Grand Teton National Park rangers initiated a multi-phased rescue mission for 10 climbers in two separate parties who became stranded together in the Stettner Couloir late Saturday evening, Aug. 15, while descending from the Petzoldt Ridge on the Grand Teton.

The initial call for help, at 8:45 Saturday evening, set in motion a search and rescue operation that did not end until four of the climbers were finally evacuated from the Lower Saddle of the Grand by helicopter late Sunday afternoon. Although none of the ten climbers sustained injuries during their mountain mishap, several did suffer from exposure to the extremely wet and cold conditions that they experienced during their hours-long descent of the Stettner Couloir.

The two climbing parties (one with six members and the other with four) were attempting to summit the Grand Teton in a single day, rather than making a two-day climb with an overnight in Garnet Canyon.

The two parties met up during their respective descents off the Petzoldt Ridge, and both groups made an ill-fated decision to rappel down Chevy Couloir and into the Stettner Couloir to reach the Lower Saddle at the end of their day-long climbing adventure. With little understanding of summertime conditions typically found in the Stettner Couloir, this decision proved to be problematic and ultimately placed the climbers in jeopardy of incurring serious injury.

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Injured hiker rescued at Badlands

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A hiker was rescued and evacuated by helicopter following a 125-foot fall near Badlands Nations National Park in South Dakota.

Below is the account that was posted on the National Park Service’s Morning Report:

Hiker Rescued After 125 Foot Fall

July 11, 2015

The Badlands search and rescue team responded to a mutual aid request by the Oglala Sioux Tribe mid-day on July 11th to assist with an injured hiker.

The 26-year old man had been hiking with three others and fell approximately 125 feet into a rugged canyon on Sheep Mountain Table, later determined to be on the boundary of Badlands National Park and the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

SAR team members Tyson Nehrin and Ryan Frum repelled down and conducted the initial patient assessment, noting significant trauma to the patient’s head and an altered level of consciousness.  A paramedic from Black Hills Life Flight also repelled down and provided advanced life support.

The incident commander  requested a Black Hawk medivac through the South Dakota National Guard to conduct a hoist operation. The visitor was successfully lifted into the Black Hawk along with the flight medic and transported to Rapid City Regional Hospital.

Responding agencies included the Oglala Sioux Tribal Police Department, Badlands SAR, Pennington County Sheriff’s Office, Interior Volunteer Fire Department, Pennington County SAR, Rapid Valley Fire Department, South Dakota National Guard and Black Hills Life Flight.

Rattlesnake rescue

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We found this on the National Park Service’s Morning Report. So many questions.

Two Rescued From Mine Blocked By Rattlesnake
A man and a boy who entered Ore Car Mine off North Shore Road at Lake Mead National Recreation Area last Friday were unable to exit due to a rattlesnake blocking their path and called for help.
Rangers responded along with personnel from BLM, Henderson FD and Las Vegas Metro PD SAR. The pair were successfully extricated.

One dead, four rescued in Mount Moran avalanche

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From the National Park Service’s Morning Report:

One dead, four rescued in avalanche

May, 29, 2015

A team of rangers, emergency medical personnel, Teton County SAR team members and a contract helicopter rescued four backcountry ski mountaineers who were involved in an avalanche on the northeast face of Mount Moran at Grand TetonNational Park in Wyoming on Sunday.

753fa-logoLuke Lynch, 38, was killed in the avalanche and one of his companions, Stephen P. Adamson, Jr.,  42, sustained life-threatening injuries, prompting evacuation by helicopter. Two other companions – Brook Yeomans, 37, who suffered minor injuries, and Zahan Billimoria , 37, who escaped injury – were also evacuated via helicopter as continuing avalanche activity and a steady cycle of snow squalls across the Tetons made the multi-staged rescue operation more challenging.

Teton Interagency Dispatch Center received a 911 transfer call from Teton County on Sunday and quickly contacted park rangers, who immediately began a coordinated rescue operation. Because of the remote location on Mount Moran and the report of multiple injured persons, rangers quickly staged at and responded from the Jenny Lake Rescue Cache, located at Lupine Meadows near the base of Teewinot Mountain. Rangers also summoned the Teton County SAR contract helicopter.

The four ski mountaineers were ascending the steep Sickle Couloir on Mount Moran when a shallow wet slough avalanche released from above. The snow slide swept three of the mountaineers downslope for approximately 500 feet over rock and ice covered terrain. Billimoria was able to move out of the heavier portion of the debris flow and was not caught in the slide. He quickly descended to his teammates, called 911, and began the difficult task of administering aid to his three companions.

Light snowfall on the slopes above continued to cause additional sloughs that repeatedly hit the group, requiring Billimoria to work desperately to move Adamson and Lynch to a safer location. Although injured, Yeomans was able to descend slowly downslope under his own power.

After a slight lull in the recurring snowstorms over the Teton peaks, the Teton County SAR helicopter was able to deliver several rescuers to the base of the couloir. A Teton County SAR member was short-hauled to the scene to aid in the evacuation of Adamson, who receiving emergency medical care by park rangers on site and getting package for airlift off the mountain.

Adamson and the Teton County SAR member were both short-hauled directly to the Jenny Lake Rescue Cache where a team of medics and the park’s medical director, Dr. Will Smith, provided additional emergency care before Adamson was transported by park ambulance to the Jackson Hole Airport. Upon reaching the airport, Adamson was transferred to a fixed wing air ambulance that flew him to the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

The Teton County SAR helicopter subsequently returned to pick up the two other avalanche survivors and transport them out of the backcountry. Additional flights were made to bring out Lynch’s body, as well as the remaining park rangers and their rescue gear. All rescue personnel were safely out of the mountains.

Snow buffers 100-foot fall at Rocky

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Rescue crews at Rocky Mountain National Park evacuated a climber who fell 100 feet into snow over the weekend. An emergency beacon helped, according to the NPS’s Morning Report.

Here are the details:

Injured Climber Rescued From Black Lake Area

Rangers were notified of the activation of a spot tracker device just after noon last Saturday. Shortly thereafter, they received a 911 call reporting a climbing accident near Black Lake.

Fifty-year-old Jason Brooks was solo climbing (unroped) when he reportedly took a tumbling fall of about 100 feet onto soft snow. The fall was witnessed by visitors who were at Black Lake, which is about five-and-a-half miles from the Glacier Gorge Trailhead. Rangers arrived on scene about two-and-a-half hours from the initial call.

Brooks suffered numerous injuries but was ambulatory and with assistance from rangers was able to move down to an area where an air ambulance was able to land. Flight for Life transported him to Medical Center of the Rockies at 4:15 p.m.

Fortunately, weather conditions and the location were conducive to assistance from a helicopter. Teams of Rocky Mountain National Park search and rescue personnel, assisted by Larimer County Search and Rescue and Rocky Mountain Rescue, were preparing for the possibility of a lengthy rescue operation.

Snowy search at Rocky

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A snowy search is on for an unprepared hiker on highest paved road in US. Here’s the rundown from the National Park Service:

On Monday, Jan. 26, park rangers contacted Jay Starr Jr, 34, from Cohoes, New York. Starr had entered Rocky Mountain National Park on foot and indicated he was planning to walk westbound over Trail Ridge Road. Rangers advised him against this based on his behavior and his lack of preparedness for winter alpine conditions. Starr was wearing tennis shoes, jeans or tan canvas pants, a black/blue jacket, no hat or gloves and was carrying a plastic grocery bag.

Trail Ridge Road is the highest continuous paved road in the United States, with its highest point reaching 12,183 feet. Over ten miles of the road are above 11,500 feet. The road closed to vehicles for the season on Nov. 4, 2014. The closures are located at Many Parks Curve on the east side and Colorado River Trailhead on the west side. The road is not maintained during the winter. Conditions on the road range from bare wind-blown asphalt to deep snow drifts.

On Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 27, park rangers on skis contacted Starr above Many Parks Curve on Trail Ridge Road. Rangers were concerned for his welfare and were attempting to assist him. Starr fled from rangers up a dry section of the road. Starr continued to elude rangers until darkness fell.

Beginning early on Wednesday, Jan. 28, two teams of rangers attempted to locate Starr again on Trail Ridge Road. One team came from the east side of the park and the other team came from the west side of the park.Rangers faced wind gusts of 50 to 60 miles per hour. These high winds and blowing snow hampered following Starr’s footprints. Aerial operations were not possible due to high winds. The entire road corridor was checked, and Starr was not located.

On Thursday, Jan. 29, rangers are again attempting to locate Starr in areas around Trail Ridge Road. Aerial operations may be used if conditions allow. Park rangers have been assisted the last two days by a Colorado Parks and Wildlife Officer with an All-Terrain Vehicle equipped with snow tracks. The operations are also being aided by an over-snow tracked vehicle and operator from Estes Park Power and Light. The motorized equipment is only being used on Trail Ridge Road.

Rescue at Copper Mountain

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Crews at Lake Clark National Park in Alaska used a helicopter to rescue a hiker following a fall at Copper Mountain.

Copper Mountain Rescue
Date: September 3, 2014

Sunday evening, Aug. 31, a party of four hikers was rescued from Copper Mountain in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve. Three of the hikers were off-duty Lake Clark employees. The National Park Service’s Alaska Region Communication Center received a distress call from a park radio at about 7:30 p.m. reporting that a seasonal maintenance employee had sustained a life threatening injury in a fall. Members of the party provided first aid, but due to unstable terrain they were unable to move the patient.

National Park Service and Alaska State Trooper personnel in Port Alsworth worked with the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center to rescue the hikers. The Air National Guard responded with an HC-130 aircraft and an HH-60 helicopter with Pararescue Jumpers. During the hoisting operation another seasonal maintenance employee of Lake Clark on furlough from the Grand Canyon, sustained a significant head injury as a result of falling rock debris. Ultimately, all four hikers were brought aboard the helicopter and flown to Anchorage.

  

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