June 10, 2019 19-236 #12

On Monday, June 10, the Team was called to respond to a report of a 68 year old male from Chalfant, CA, injured in a fall on the south side of Mt. Morrison, at an approximate elevation of 11,200’.   The RP had activated a PLB, and a good location was acquired.  In addition, the RP had a satellite phone, so the IC had communication with the group.  The Team staged on the east side of Convict Lake.  Air resources were requested.

Two field teams left Rescue Base and began the climb up to the subject’s location.  In addition, the CHP called in a crew for helicopter H40, which was just finishing up routine maintenance.  H40 responded to the coordinates provided by the PLB, and quickly located the subject on steep talus terrain.

H40 landed at the Mammoth-Yosemite airport, stripped extraneous gear, and onboarded a Team member, who was down-hoisted to the subject’s location.  H40 returned for another SAR member and the titanium litter and Bowman Bag, which were also down-hoisted to the subject’s location.

H40 returned to the airport for fuel and to wait for the subject to be packaged, then returned to the scene and hoisted out the subject and delivered him to Medic 3 back at the airport.  H40 then extracted the two SAR members on scene.



Field teams 1 and 2 had been put on standby and requested to hold their position upon the arrival of H40.  Once H40 successfully retrieved the subject, the field teams were advised to return to base.

Field team holding for helicopter extraction of the subject. Image by J. Bush

Field team holding for helicopter extraction of the subject. Image by J. Bush

The subject indicated that he had been walking on snow, with crampons, when he tripped and began sliding down the steep snowfield.  He slid out of sight of his companions on a steep rollover, and then his momentum was subsequently arrested by exposed rocks, though he tumbled approximately 30’ over the rocks before coming to rest.

The SAR medical team indicated that the subject had a 2” laceration to the back of his head by a sharp rock that penetrated his helmet, and a possible skull fracture, though not displaced.  The subject likely had a fractured shoulder and scapula, as well as other lacerations and contusions.

Medic 3 delivered him to Mammoth Hospital, and he was subsequently flown to Renown, current condition unknown.

IC Pelichowsky, Ops Leader Beck/Cowan. Responders: Blackman, Buchanan, Bush, Creager, Dunne, Kaufman, Knight, Patterson, Pavlovsky, Senior, Torrence, Evans, and Wallace