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Accident on N. Ridge of Forbidden


ryland_moore
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Anyone know any more details? Had two rangers come into our bivy at the Triumph col at about 1am Sunday morning and then got picked up by a heli there at 5am Sunday morning to be flown over. Initial info. was the guy had broken ankle in two places and other injuries but no other details. ANyone know who this was? A solo climber? Outcome? Hope he was alright.

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My group watched the chopper also from Eldo; we saw it as early as 8ish pm on Sat. and saw it land on the N. ridge around that time.

 

I'm trying to imagine how a chopper could land ON the N Ridge of Forbidden . . . am I off base or is that very unlikely???

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I'm impressed that Rangers actually climbed something, not to mention something challenging! thumbs_up.gif

I thought only Yosemite and Teton rangers climbed?

 

I think that's kinda disingenuous, Michael. Gator and his crew might take umbrage with your statements...

 

Damn, Dox, ya beat me to it.

Edited by sobo
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was on the e. ridge direct saturday, didn't see anyone on the n. ridge throughout our day but ran into a chick on the way out of boston basin w/ a pair of binoculars spying something up high on forbidden. asked her what she was looking for, said she heard someone was in trouble but didn't know who or where...

if that's any info...

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it may go something like this:

party of three climbing full north ridge of forbidden, not to be confused with the nw face variation of the n ridge of forbidden. guy breaks at least one ankle, maybe a compound fracture or two (some bleeding). two climbers make their way back out and they come accross a group of mountaineer.org climbers in the afternoon on saturday, borrow a phone and call in the location of the hurt climber. he was below the intersection point of the nw face variation, as indicated by the snow/ice slope (which looks to be in very nice shape!). they dropped him a radio on Saturday late afternoon and talked to him. picked him up on Sunday morning/afternoon and took him to the doctors. don't think they landed on the ridge, only got close to drop radio and haul him. the pilot does have a sense of humor as indicated by saying hello to my partner as he shat on the hill side there on the plastic composting wc...although he may not initially have known what he was seeing as he approached. they ought to put no slip footing on that thing or tilt it up hill before someone slides off. need i drift. haven't heard how the guy is doing. i hope well.

 

3285ForbiddenN-med.jpg

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Just released from NPS today.....

 

North Cascades National Park (WA)

Climber Rescued from Forbidden Peak

 

 

 

A party of three climbers began an ascent of the North Ridge of Forbidden Peak on Saturday, July 31st, after first crossing the Quien Sabe and Boston Glaciers to reach the ridge. Around 9 a.m., Brian Miller of Seattle was leading the ascent when he fell about 40 feet, pulled out two protection pieces, then fell another 80 feet down a gulley. Miller sustained open fractures of both legs, but no other apparent injuries. His two partners raised him the 80 feet back to the ridge, then left him there and climbed out to seek assistance. Eight hours passed before they were able to climb to a location where their cell phone worked. They then contacted the park. Just before dark, a recon flight was made of the accident site and a radio was lowered to Miller to inform him that a rescue effort would be undertaken the next morning. Four rangers were flown in early on Sunday. Two climbing rangers were lowered to a point near Miller and prepared him for extrication. Miller was shorthauled to a flat snow bench further down the ridge, then transferred to an Airlift Northwest medical helicopter and flown to Harborview Trauma Center in Seattle.

[submitted by Pete Cowan, Chief Ranger]

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I don't know anything more than this email a friend sent me. Glad to hear that he survived. Not a fun place to be hurt.

=============================

 

Last weekend Brian fell while leading a pitch on the north ridge of Forbidden Peak and broke both of his legs. Chris (Mountain Rescue veteran and EMT) did a great job of treating Brian’s injuries and along with Sean they were able to raise Brian to a safe place with a z-pulley.  The north ridge of Forbidden is a remote place, so Brian had to spend a night on the ridge until a helicopter picked him up the next day.  He was treated at Harborview and released a couple of days later.

 

Brian is in good spirits.  He broke all four bones in his lower legs and has external pins in them now.  He has surgery scheduled this week on one leg and next week on the other to put screws or pins inside his bones.  He will be confined to a wheelchair for 3-4 months and then begin rehabilitation.

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Is this the Brian Miller who went to Lakeside? If so, he was one year behind me. Did he fall on the upper part of the ridge after the snow climbing, or on the ridge somewhere below the snow crest (i.e., they stuck to the ridge the whole way from the base of the ridge)?

 

John Sharp

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All,

 

NPS report is pretty accurate. We were climbing the NR, sticking to the ridge, not the snow climb listed in Nelson, and were at the 7900' level (by the first snow patch before the large buttress) when Brian took a leader fall. The distance he fell was probably considerably less than 40 feet. I would put it at about 12-15 vertical feet. However, as a gully was stretching out underneath him, the fall and tumble were exaggerated. It's an important point because even a short fall can have disastrous consequences as in this case.

 

Brian had open, compound fractures in both legs. Chris, who did an exceptional job of treating Brian's injuries, hauled Brian on his back while I z-pulleyed the two of them back up to the ridge. It took all the strength we could muster, something to think about given that Brian is only about 140 lbs. Once getting Brian set up and comfortable on the ridge, Chris and I descended back to the Boston Glacier and returned to Boston Basin whereupon we were able to get a cell phone call in. The time was 7pm. They had a helicopter in to spot Brian by 8pm (incredibly quick, highly professional response by NPS to whom we owe many, many thanks) and had a radio lowered to him by 8:30 to check his status and tell him the plan. Given the late hour, extraction at that point was unfortunately not an option. Rescue climbers were inserted the next day (approximately 26 hours after the accident) and transported Brian via helicopter to Harborview. Pain medication that Chris had in his first aid kit helped make what must have been an awful night less awful, something for people going to remote locations to consider.

 

Brian is doing exceptionally well, but as the earlier message states, will be in a wheelchair for some time.

 

Thanks to all on the list for their thoughts and concern.

 

Sean

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