August 14, 2019 #35

At 1:01 pm on Wednesday, August 14, the Team received a report of a 15-year-old male with a diabetic emergency between Barney Lake and Peeler Lake, above Twin Lakes Bridgeport. The Team responded to the Barney Lake trailhead, and assistance was requested from CHP H40.

CHP H40 was able to respond quickly, and extracted the subject, and delivered him to a waiting medic unit at Mono Village. The subject was transported to Mammoth Hospital for treatment.

Mono Village meadow LZ.  Image by M. Quiring

Mono Village meadow LZ. Image by M. Quiring

IC: Pelichowsky. Ops Leader: Beck. Responders: Hammack, L, Patterson, Quiring, Buchanan, Wallace, Cucura, Torrence, Dunne, Firer.

August 13, 2019 #34

On August 13, 2019, the Team received a report of a 68-year-old male who had activated an SOS on a satellite device for general malaise, lethargy, and other symptoms of AMS near Agnew Lake. The Team responded to the Rush Creek Trailhead.

Two field teams left the trailhead in anticipation of a litter carryout, but Field Team 1 located the subject and his traveling companion on the trail below Agnew Lake where they were slowly advancing down the trail. Field Team 1 escorted the subject down the trail, meeting with Field Team 2. All field teams and the subject and his companion walked under their own power to the trailhead. A Mono County medic unit transported the subject to Mammoth Hospital for treatment.

Enjoying the Rush Creek Trail on a warm afternoon.  Image by M. Quiring

Enjoying the Rush Creek Trail on a warm afternoon. Image by M. Quiring

IC: Hansen. Ops Leader: Wallace. Responders: Blackman, Buchanan, Cowan, Creager, Cucura, Evans, Knight, Quiring.

August 12-13, 2019 #33

On Monday, August 12, 2019, at 11:59 pm, the Team received a report of an SOS activation from a one-way Spot device (the device could not accept incoming messages) that was registered to an 87-year-old male. None of the emergency numbers provided for the Spot device was answered.

The device indicated that the location was near the shore of Greenstone Lake, just west of Saddlebag Lake. The Mono County Sheriff’s Office provided a boat and a deputy to pilot, and transported the field teams across Saddlebag Lake.

On the boat ride across Saddlebag Lake inbound to our subject.  Image by B. Beck

On the boat ride across Saddlebag Lake inbound to our subject. Image by B. Beck

The subject was located, and his wife reported that he had suffered seizures, and the subject complained of muscle cramping. The subject was assessed, and transported to the shore of Saddlebag Lake via wheeled litter, and then by Sheriff’s Office boat to the Saddlebag Lake Resort, where he was transferred to the care of Mono County Medics. The medics transported the subject to Mammoth Hospital.

Rolling the litter down the dark and quiet trail back to the lake and the return boat ride.  Image by B. Beck

Rolling the litter down the dark and quiet trail back to the lake and the return boat ride. Image by B. Beck

Team debrief after the medics accepted responsibility for our subject.  Image by B. Beck

Team debrief after the medics accepted responsibility for our subject. Image by B. Beck

IC: Pelichowsky. Ops Leader: Beck, Torrence. Responders: Carlson, Creager, Evans, Kallemeyn, Mulligan, Quiring, and Wallace.

August 11, 2019 #32

On August 11, 2019, at approximately 2:37 am, the Team received a report of a 37-year-old male with a lower leg injury near Cascade Lake. The Team responded to Saddlebag Lake, and from there hiked in with the wheeled litter to Cascade Lake.

The subject was assessed, packaged in the litter, and transported back to Saddlebag Lake via wheeled litter.

Transportation across Saddlebag Lake provided by the Mono County Sheriff’s Office boat. Image by M. Quiring

Transportation across Saddlebag Lake provided by the Mono County Sheriff’s Office boat. Image by M. Quiring

IC: Pelichowsky. Ops Leader: Hammack, L. Responders: Pavlovsky, Quiring, Kaufman, Evans, Case

August 10, 2019 #31

On August 10, 2019, at approximately 5:32 pm, the Team received a report of a 28-year-old male who had fainted on the John Muir Trail near Minaret Falls. The location was about 2 miles from the ranger station at Devils Postpile National Park.

Two field teams composed of 11 team members responded to the subject location with medical gear and the wheeled litter. The subject was assessed, and there were indications of possible Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) as well as possible High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE).

The subject was packaged in the wheeled litter and transported to the ranger station at Devils Postpile, and then the subject was transferred to the care of Mono County Medic 3. Medic 3 transported the subject to Mammoth Hospital.

A creek crossing on the litter carryout.  Image by M. Quiring

A creek crossing on the litter carryout. Image by M. Quiring

On the trail outbound. Image by J. Bush

On the trail outbound. Image by J. Bush

Image by J. Bush

Image by J. Bush

Image by J. Bush

Image by J. Bush

IC: Hansen. Ops Leader: Beck. Responders: Zila, Mulligan, Anderson, Bush, Torrence, Kaufman, Quiring, Fernandez, Frolio, Cucura, Hartstrom, Evans, Pavlovsky, Bush.

August 10, 2019 #30

On August 10, 2019 at approximately 3:40 pm, the Team received a report of a 49-year-old male climber with an open fracture at the Dreamers bouldering area near Sherwin Summit. In addition to MOSAR, Long Valley Fire and Medic 3 also responded, and due to their proximity arrived on the accident scene first.

The subject was assessed, splinted, packaged in the wheeled litter, and transported a short distance to the medic unit, and was then transported to Mammoth Hospital for treatment.

IC: Pelichowsky. Ops Leader: Beck. Responders: Pavlovsky, Bush, Quiring, Frolio, Fernandez, Zila

The short transport from the Dreamers to the parking area and the waiting medic unit. Image by J. Bush

The short transport from the Dreamers to the parking area and the waiting medic unit. Image by J. Bush

Image by J. Bush

Image by J. Bush

August 8, 2019 #29

On August 8, 2019, at approximately 2:16 pm, the Team received a report of a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) in Little Slide Canyon. The Team responded to the trailhead at Mono Village, and field teams hiked toward the location. Prior to the arrival of the field teams, CHP H40 was able to extract the subject.

Hiking on the use trail in Little Slide Canyon. Image by M. Quiring

Hiking on the use trail in Little Slide Canyon. Image by M. Quiring

On the use trail.  Image by J. Wallace

On the use trail. Image by J. Wallace

Image by J. Wallace

Image by J. Wallace

IC: Ops Leader: Hammack, L. Responders: Cowan, Cucura, Fernandez, Hartstrom, Kaufman, Thompson, Wallace.

August 7, 2019 #28

On August 6, 2019, at approximately 10:43 pm, the Team received a report of a 60-year-old male hiker with an injured leg near Barney Lake. The Team waited for first light, and then field teams hiked in from Mono Village with a wheeled litter.

Prior to the arrival of the field teams, CHP H40 was able to extract the subject.

Mono Village meadow LZ.  Image by M. Quiring

Mono Village meadow LZ. Image by M. Quiring

IC: Ops Leader: Hammack, L. Responders: Buchanan, Cowan, Cucura, Evans, Fernandez, Hartstrom, Kaufman, Patterson, Quiring, Thompson, Wallace.

August 3, 2019 #27

Madera County requested assistance with recovering the remains of a male hiker who had fallen down a snowfield near Iceberg Lake, at the toe of the Minarets. His fall was arrested by rocks, and was unfortunately fatal.

CHP H40 transported a 2-member field team to the location, and the field team packaged the remains, lowered the package to a suitable LZ, and the remains were flown out. CHP H40 returned to extract the field team.

IC: Pelichowsky. No Ops Leader. Responders: Hammack, L, Kaufman, Thompson, Endo.

July 27, 2019 #26

On Saturday, July 27 at approximately 9 pm, the Team received a report of a 20-year-old female who was dehydrated and having seizures near Waugh Lake. Two field teams responded to the Rush Creek Trailhead to hike in to render assistance.

The Seahawk helicopter from Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake.used just previously in the evening was re-tasked to Waugh Lake, and arrived prior to the ground team. The Seahwak was able to extract the subject and fly her to Mammoth-Yosemite Airport; from there Mono County Medics transported her to Mammoth Hospital, and then she was transferred to Renown in Reno, NV.

IC: Hansen. Ops Leader: Wallace. Responders: Kaufman, Quiring, Hodges, Godshalk, Guffey, Dunne, Blackman.

July 27, 2019 #25

On July 27, 2019, at 1:04 pm, the Team was called for a reported climber with back, ankle, and pelvic injuries on the third pitch of the 10-pitch 3rd Pillar of Dana. The reporting party called in on a mobile phone and stated that the injured party had taken a lead fall of 25-35 feet, and had impacted a ledge.

Rescue base was established at the Lee Vining airport. There were no air resources immediately available, so 7 field teams drove to the trailhead at Tioga Lake and began the steep hike to the summit. The route that the climber fell off of is approximately 700’ tall, and the reported location of the injured party was on the third pitch, so it was anticipated that two 600’ ropes would be indicated.

Building the 5:1 mechanical advantage. Image by B. Beck

Building the 5:1 mechanical advantage. Image by B. Beck

As the field teams arrived on the summit, rope systems were constructed to lower the litter attendant and litter down to the subject, and then to raise both back to the summit. Upon arrival at the subject’s location, a medical assessment was performed, and the subject was found to be stable, but unable to lie on his back.

Manning the belay before conversion to twin-tension system. Image by B. Beck

Manning the belay before conversion to twin-tension system. Image by B. Beck

The mechanical advantage system ready for raise. Image by J. Bush

The mechanical advantage system ready for raise. Image by J. Bush

For the raise, the Team had initially constructed a mechanical advantage of 5:1, but the haul team was struggling to raise the rescuer and subject, and the mechanical advantage was modified to a 7:1. The raise was approximately 300’, and the subject shortly arrived at the summit with the litter attendant.

The litter attendants view back to the summit from the subject location. Image by N. Endo

The litter attendants view back to the summit from the subject location. Image by N. Endo

The litter attendant and subject nearing the summit. Image by B. Beck

The litter attendant and subject nearing the summit. Image by B. Beck

The litter was carried approximately 1/4 mile through rough, boulder-strewn terrain to await the arrival of the air transport. A Seahawk (Sikorsky UH60 variant) arrived from Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake. The subject was transported to Fresno Community Regional Medical Center.

Transporting the subject away from the edge to the helo pickup area. Image by J. Bush

Transporting the subject away from the edge to the helo pickup area. Image by J. Bush

The China Lake Seahawk looking for a spot to set down. Image by B. Beck

The China Lake Seahawk looking for a spot to set down. Image by B. Beck

Helo extraction complete, packing up the gear for the hike out. Image by N. Endo

Helo extraction complete, packing up the gear for the hike out. Image by N. Endo

IC: Minder. Ops Leader: Beck/Buchanan/Wallace. Responders: Bush, Creager, Endo, Godshalk, Hammack, Hansen, Haugh, Hodges, Kaufman, Lambert, Padilla, Pavlovsky, Thompson

July 26, 2019 #24

At 2:50 pm on Friday, July 26, the Team was called for a reported 56 year old male mountain biker with an injured ankle on the Mammoth Rock Trail. Three field teams responded, two from the lower trailhead and one from the upper trailhead.

The subject was treated, packaged into the litter, and transported via wheeled litter to the upper trailhead along Old Mammoth Road. The subject was transferred to the care of the Mono County medics, and was then transported to Mammoth Hospital.

IC: Hansen. Ops Leader: Bush. Responders: Kaufman, Quiring, Buchanan, Patterson, Zila, French, Senior, Cucura, Thompson, Haugh, Blackman, Anderson, Guffey

July 23, 2019 19-323 #23

On Tuesday evening, July 23, 2019 at approximately 1740, the Team was called for a 68 year-old female hiker with reported altitude sickness on the Rush Creek Trail. She was approximately 1.5 miles from the Rush Creek Trailhead.

4 field teams departed the trailhead at 1830. The field teams encountered the subject about a half-mile from the trailhead and she was assessed, treated, and transported to the trailhead. The subject was transferred to the care of Mono County Medic Unit 2, and transported to Mammoth Hospital for further treatment.

IC: Hansen. Ops Leader: Bush. Responders: Beck, Pavlovsky, Senior, Quiring, Kaufman, Wallace, Buchanan, Mulligan, Firer, Hodges, Godshalk, Anderson, Endo, and Patterson.

July 21-22, 2019 19-319, OES #3943 #22

On Sunday evening, July 21, 2019, the Team was called for a 21 year-old female hiker complaining of anemia and sciatica, approximately 11 miles from the Rush Creek trailhead near Donohue Pass. A field team of 4 rescue members began hiking in at 8:30 pm.

The field team preparing for a late-evening departure. Image by B. Beck

The field team preparing for a late-evening departure. Image by B. Beck

The field team on the trail. Image by B. Beck

The field team on the trail. Image by B. Beck

At 2 am on July 22, a Blackhawk helicopter and a night vision gear (NVG) qualified crew located the subject.

A crewman was lowered to the subject, who was evaluated, and then the crewman and subject were hoisted into the Blackhawk. The subject was transported to Mammoth-Yosemite Airport, and Mono County Medic 3 crew briefly treated the subject who refused transport to Mammoth Hospital.

The field team continued to the pick-up location, and located the subject’s hiking partner at approximately 3 am. The field team briefly set up camp and slept, and then escorted the subject’s hiking partner to the trailhead, arriving at approximately 1 pm.

On the return hike.  Image by J. Bush

On the return hike. Image by J. Bush

Stream crossing.  Image by J. Bush

Stream crossing. Image by J. Bush

IC: Hansen, Minder. Ops Leaders: Beck, Torrence. Responders: Buchanan, Wallace, Bush, Quiring.

July 17, 2019 19-311 #21

On Wednesday July 17, 2019, the Team was called for an overdue party of 4 mountain bikers who departed Tom’s Place with the intent of descending the Lower Rock Creek Mountain Bike Trail. The party had been dropped several hours earlier, but had not arrived at the terminus.

Team One was assigned to ascend the trail from the bottom terminus, and quickly located two of the riders, and then the other two shortly thereafter. The riders were escorted out; there were no injuries.

IC: Hansen. Ops Leader: Beck. Responders: Wallace, Mulligan, Bush, Senior, Kaufman, Quiring, Zila, Haugh, Cowan, Torrence, Hennes, and Kallemeyn.

July 13-14, 2019 19-305 #19

At 11:51 pm on Saturday, July 13, the Team was called for a report of a 28 year-old female hiker from the Bay Area who had fallen down a steep snow-filled gully in the vicinity of the Incredible Hulk and had slid out of sight of her hiking partner.

The pair between them had one pair of crampons and one pair of snow traction devices, and they split the gear so that each had a crampon on one foot, and a traction device on the other.  They then attempted to cross a steep snowfield above several steep snow-filled gullies, and the subject slipped and slid/tumbled down the gully out of sight of the reporting party (RP). 

The RP hailed her partner several times, and no response was received.  She realized she was not equipped to safely descend the gully to attempt to locate her friend, and with no mobile phone service available, immediately set out for help.

The RP hiked out approximately 2 hours to Mono Village and from there called 911 via landline for assistance.  The Team responded to the Barney Lake Trailhead, just outside of the Mono Village resort. 

Three field teams comprised of nine rescuers (including 3 EMTs) left Rescue Base at approximately 12:30 am (technically now Sunday, July 14) and the RP accompanied the field teams to guide them to the PLS (Place Last Seen).  Navigating in the dark by headlamp, the field teams arrived at the PLS in approximately 2.5 hours.

Hiking the Barney Lake Trail enroute to the subject

Hiking the Barney Lake Trail enroute to the subject

Searching for the subject on the steep snowfields via roped belay. Image by B. Beck

Searching for the subject on the steep snowfields via roped belay. Image by B. Beck

The subject was quickly located, but was found to be in critical condition with traumatic head injuries, numerous broken bones, hypothermia, and likely internal damage.  The subject was non-responsive throughout. 

Treating subject while awaiting air extraction. Image by B. Beck

Treating subject while awaiting air extraction. Image by B. Beck

Prior to leaving Rescue Base, the field teams had requested air resources, due to extremely difficult travel conditions between the Barney Lake Trail and the base of the Incredible Hulk.  CHP H40 stated that they would begin flight preparations and preflight at 0430, and would be on station by 0600.

CHP H40 arriving with the Bowman Bag for subject extraction. Image by B. Beck

CHP H40 arriving with the Bowman Bag for subject extraction. Image by B. Beck

The subject was treated and packaged, and her condition continued to deteriorate.  The filed teams initiated rescue breathing to maintain vitals.  CHP H40 arrived overhead at approximately 0700, assessed the situation, and departed to drop excess gear.  At 0740 CHP H40 lowered the bowman bag, and the titanium frame litter was loaded into the bag, and H40 raised the package.

Packing up for the hike out. Image by B. Beck

Packing up for the hike out. Image by B. Beck

Heading out. Image by B. Beck

Heading out. Image by B. Beck

Gathering the tag line for CHP H40. Image by B. Beck

Gathering the tag line for CHP H40. Image by B. Beck

CHP H40 then flew the subject directly to Bridgeport International Airport, and the subject was transferred to Care Flight and flown to Renown Medical Center in Reno, NV.

The field teams packed their gear, and hiked back to Rescue Base, arriving at approximately 0930, for a total of about 9 hours in the field.  The Team displayed extraordinary team work, competence, and professionalism in successfully effecting this extraction and rescue.  The Team continues to perform outstanding work. As this is written, our subject remains in critical condition.

IC: Hansen. Ops Leaders: Beck/Wallace. Responders: Hammack, L, Creager, Evans, Knight, Kaufman, Quiring, Patterson, Hansen, T.

July 6, 2019 19-292 #17

On Saturday, July 6 at 1520, The Team was called for a reported 44 year-old female hiker with a fractured ankle near McLeod Lake. The Team responded to the trailhead at Horseshoe Lake, and a field team of 4 SAR members left the trailhead in search of the subject.

A group of hikers interviewed on the hike in stated that they had seen a woman with an ankle injury carried out in the direction of the trailhead.

It was then determined that the subject had been rescued by an unknown group of persons, and was at Mammoth Hospital for treatment. The field teams returned to base, and the operation was terminated at 1627.

IC: Minder. Ops Leader: Wallace. Responders: Buchanan, Thompson, Guffey, Quiring, Torrence.

June 28, 2019 19-269 #16

On Friday, June 28th 2019 at 1950, the Team was called assist a 55 year-old female hiker with leg cramps on the Sherwin Lakes Trail. A single large field team left the Sherwin Creek trailhead to locate and assist the subject.

Arriving at the trailhead with our subject. Image by J. Bush

Arriving at the trailhead with our subject. Image by J. Bush

At the end of the ride. Image by J. Bush

At the end of the ride. Image by J. Bush

The subject was located a short distance from the trailhead, and was treated and packaged into the wheeled litter, and transported to base. The subject and her companion departed SAR base via personal vehicle.

IC: Pelichowsky. Ops Leader: Bush/Beck. Responders: Torrence, Evans, Mulligan, Zila, Anderson, Knight, Dunne, Cucura, Patterson, Buchanan, Creager, Cowan, Case, Guffey.

Image by J. Bush

Image by J. Bush