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enchantment rescue


Szyjakowski
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There was a party of 6(?) going up the West Ridge of Stuart when one of the party slipped and tweaked ankle(?). One of the party went out for a cell phone and called in the "rescue" early evening on Saturday. When the helo's arrived Sat night, they realized they could not haul people off the mountain that high. The remainder of the party had bivied at the 8000 ft level on Stuart for the night, awaiting "rescue". (This info is all second-hand, from a party camping in the area Sat night that talked to the rescue people).

 

The helos where STILL hard at work all Sunday and well into Sunday afternoon. Eventually things worked out.

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A cimber fell an estimated 50 - 60 feet on saturday from below Long John Tower on the West Ridge of Stuart,

and sustained ankle injuries and lacerations. Her party, other climbers and CCMR assisted her to 7000 feet where she was winched by MAST and transported to CWH in Wenatchee. She had a non-displaced fracture of the tibia and a fairly significant wound on her ankle. She was treated and released.

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Steve, the MAST people were given a working altitude of 7000 feet on saturday. They requested and were give permission to go to 8, but couldn't get close enough for a pick off. They actually did a little work saturday evening with NVG's but it was determined that the victim needed to be brought down to either a landing zone or a safe winch location.

 

Mountain rescue was activated late saturday night and had a paramedic to the victim sunday morning, with additional assistance behind him. With the rapidly warming weather MAST gave 1200 noon as their cutoff for a winch extraction. After that it would have been a ground carry at least to the Ingalls meadows. CCMR had 5 more people standing by and we probably would have pressed every climber and fisherman at Ingalls into service for a carry. Some of the extra helicopter activity was the Chelan County ship ferrying personnel (we do not have winch or long line capability on that ship) and a run to Wenatchee for fuel.

 

Everything went well and she was picked up a bit before noon. We didn't know of the extent of the injury until she got to CWH. My hat is off to everyone that helped - particularly her party and the other climbers who gave up their day to help one of their own. And the National Guard totally rocked on this one - I think they said the pilot and crew chief were from Wisconsin.

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thinner air. helicopters need thick air to fly. Altitude and high temps are bad juju for rotary wing aircraft. They can't fly as high or lift as much at altitude on hot days.

The same physics apply to fixed wing aircraft, they just have a much greater operating envelope.

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Josh, as others have said the warmer air is less dense (as it is as you get higher) so the helicopter has less lift. In addition, it takes a lot more power to hover than to fly forward. The pilot does an "altitude density" check before he takes off - calculates his gross weight, the amount of power he will have to hover, etc. He may fly around a bit to burn off fuel before going into hover.

 

Also if you watch mountain pilots when they take off they will hover close to the ground "in ground effect" where they get lift off the air cushion below them, then start flying forward as quickly as possible. Its pretty spectacular to dive off a ridge to get air speed but its being done for a reason.

 

The military likes to winch people in and out of the helicopter but that means they are in hover for long periods of time, usually close to the rocks where they are dealing with funky winds and rotor clearance. Many rescue teams use "long line short haul" to minimize the time in hover. Sno County, Parks Canada, and many others use this technique to insert and remove rescue people and victims. Our avy dogs and handlers are even trained to fly on the end of a 100 foot rope.

 

These helicopters are wonderful machines and they completely change the dynamics of rescue but they have some very big limitations. I was watching the pilot's hands as he held hover with the wind blowing up his tailpipe while we were being winched in and let me tell you - that guy rocked!

 

sorry about the thread drift....

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The crew that pulled me off Chimney Rock last year was From Wisconsin; prolly the same guys. The guy they lowered to the ledge where I'd spent the night to give me a hand, called me acouple months later and gave me the low-down. Said there pilot had flown missions in Nam. They werew awesome. I'd spent the night there by myself on a ledge at 7k and was thrilled when I heard them coming. Definitely some highly skilled flying in close to the rock face. They pulled me off with a little t-bar contraption on the end of a long line. That was definitely a wild ride when left the ledge on the end of that line dangling several hundred feet above the glacier on about 50ft of line. My hat's off the the national guard and the crews that come in and save our asses when we really need em.

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The reason for the Wisconson crew is that National Guard Units from around the country are backfilling for the regualr MAST crews who are all in the Middle East. We've had crews from both Wisconson & Delaware working out of Ft. Lewis & Yakima.

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The unit is from WI and Min its the 832nd. The is HQ in West Bend WI. The unit as a whole has been here at FT Lewis for over 2 years. A group of them was deployed to Irag with the 62nd Med BDE last year. The CSH (Combat Support Hospital) was featured on PBS last year.

 

If any one wants to thank them I can put you in contact w/ them.

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Isn't it nice to know that there are people out there ready and able to help in places like the N. Ridge of Forbidden and Mt. Stuart. Not sure why their efforts or the injuries sustained by this climber have to be mocked by putting the word "rescue" in quotes as above. Do the injuries have to be life-threatening before the extraction can be called a rescue?

 

John Sharp

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There was a party of 6(?) going up the West Ridge of Stuart when one of the party slipped and tweaked ankle(?). One of the party went out for a cell phone and called in the "rescue" early evening on Saturday. When the helo's arrived Sat night, they realized they could not haul people off the mountain that high. The remainder of the party had bivied at the 8000 ft level on Stuart for the night, awaiting "rescue". (This info is all second-hand, from a party camping in the area Sat night that talked to the rescue people).

 

The helos where STILL hard at work all Sunday and well into Sunday afternoon. Eventually things worked out.

 

Nice.

The "tweaked ankle" was actually a "65' fall" with "lacerations" and probable "fractures".

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uh huh. The only thing I am getting from you guys is that next time you want some information on something, I am keeping my mouth shut. I thought I made it abundantly clear that what I was posting was hearsay (the quotes, the question marks, the phrase "second hand information") and not concrete facts. For you to be jumping all over my (unedited) post at this time, a week + after the incident, seems pretty odd, no? The details of the situation were posted by Freeman, what more do you need? thumbs_down.gif

 

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I was also confused by your use of ' "rescue" ' , but I didn't get the impression you were being sarcastic or condescending. I just didn't know why you were using quotes since it was clear that an actual rescue was in progress.

 

Whatever. Move on. Better things to spray about.

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