Inyo Co SAR Incident 5/27/18
Posted: Tue May 29, 2018 11:28 am
Inyo Co Sheriff's Dept:
On May 27th shortly after 1:00am, two climbers contacted Sheriff’s dispatch regarding being stranded off route while attempting to retreat from the East Buttress route of Mt. Whitney, via rappel. The climbing team reported being lost and stuck on a ledge without enough gear to leave their position, in addition to being cold and without food or water. One party reported vomiting multiple times.
A call was made to CHP - Inland Division Air Operations out of Victorville for helicopter assistance at first light. A callout was also made to Inyo SAR members with technical climbing and rope rescue experience. A plan was made to insert two SAR climbing teams to the base of the route and contact the stranded party from two directions and either raise or lower them to a better location.
On May 28th, at about 7:30am, CHP H80 made contact via telephone with the stranded party who reported being able to melt snow for water with a stove. They further reported that since it was daylight they were able to see terrain features on the mountain, self rescue and climb to a better location under their own power. The party requested no further rescue assistance and all rescue resources were cancelled.
Thanks to Inyo SAR members, CHP - Inland Division Air Operations , and Bishop Airport for their assistance.