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