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RMI Accident

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SALEM, Ore. - Two Blackhawk helicopters from Oregon were dispatched to Mt. Rainier on Thursday to assist in the rescue of four climbers who fell into a crevasse.

A Rainier Mountaineering Incorporated-guided party of four climbers were ascending the mountain at the Disappointment Cleaver Route at 12,600 feet when they plunged into the crevasse.

 

Guides were on scene providing emergency medical care to the climbers.

 

The flight crews from the 1042nd Medical Company (Air Ambulance) will likely effect a hoist operation to retrieve the climbers from the crevasse and stabilize the climbers for transport.

 

At this point, the extent of the climbers' injuries is unknown.

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Taken from seattletimes.com ....

 

The climbers - a guide and three clients -were on an RMI trip following the popular Disappointment Cleaver route to the 14,411-foot summit. They were crossing a snow bridge spanning a glacial crevasse at about 12,600 feet when the bridge collapsed at around 7:20 a.m., sending the four plunging into the crevasse, said Park Service spokeswoman Lee Taylor.

 

The guide lost consciousness for a time, but then began helping with the rescue. One climber suffered no serious injuries and was able to get out of the crevasse. That climber was able to walk to a location nearby and was lifted off the mountain by a helicopter.

 

One of the other climbers suffered head injuries and a broken leg, and needed to be hoisted from the glacier by a helicopter, Taylor said. The last of the four suffered a broken leg and a dislocated shoulder, and also needs to be airlifted. No names, ages or other details of the people involved were yet available.

 

Seattle Times Article

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From KIRO:

 

KIROTV.com

4 Climbers Hurt On Mount Rainier

 

POSTED: 10:49 am PDT July 7, 2005

UPDATED: 1:15 pm PDT July 7, 2005

 

ASHFORD, Wash. -- Military helicopters Thursday evacuated four climbers injured when they fell into a crevasse on Mount Rainier.

 

"We believe that they were on a snowbridge which collapsed," Mount Rainier National Park spokeswoman Lee Taylor said. "All four were injured, two rather severely and two less seriously."

 

The men fell at about 7:20 a.m. All four were evacuated by 1 p.m. PDT from Ingraham Glacier at the 12,600-foot level of the 14,411-foot peak.

 

Taylor did not know the crevasse's size, but said they typically are up to 100 feet deep.

 

Rainier officials say the most severely injured person suffered serious head trauma, a broken leg and possible rib injuries. He was plucked from the crevasse by mountain rescue personnel and then flown from the mountain to a nearby hospital by an Oregon National Guard Blackhawk helicopter, Guard Capt. Mike Braibish said.

 

The second-most-seriously injured person -- complaining of back pain -- was removed by a second Blackhawk, Braibish said.

 

The first two people removed were a climber with an apparent dislocated shoulder and a guide who suffered a head injury but was able to assist with first aid efforts.

 

They were the least seriously injured, but were removed first because the park service's first available helicopters were not equipped as rescue or air ambulance vehicles, Taylor said.

 

The people who fell were with a guide from Rainier Mountaineering Inc. Other parties climbing with RMI guides were nearby and assisted with first aid and rescue efforts, and National Park Service rangers were dropped to the scene by helicopter.

 

The fall occurred on the Disappointment Cleaver route on Ingraham Glacier, one of the most popular paths to the summit.

 

A spokeswoman for the search and rescue team said she didn't know where the climbers are from.

 

Weather was clear on the mountain, helping in the rescue.

Copyright 2005 by KIROTV.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Edited by Couloir

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"We believe that they were on a snowbridge which collapsed," Mount Rainier National Park spokeswoman Lee Taylor said. "All four were injured, two rather severely and two less seriously."

 

so why were 4 people all crossing a snow bridge at the same time?

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so why were 4 people all crossing a snow bridge at the same time?

It must have been a large platform that they were unaware they were on that gave way.

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so why were 4 people all crossing a snow bridge at the same time?

It must have been a large platform that they were unaware they were on that gave way.

 

I'm wondering if they were coming off the cleaver and had been short roping it, or were coming off a rest break and had not stretched out their ropes yet.

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that's what i was wondering, but i think they can be rather large. or maybe they didn't realize they were on one. hopefully we'll get more details ...

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latest update says they didn't fall through a snow bridge. evidently one guy fell and they arrested his fall. Someone got up to help him and he fell pulling two into the slot.

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Short roping seems to be the norm with RMI due to the large experience gradient between clients and guides. Still it must have been a very wide crevasse to span even a short roped 4 person team. Just glad the injuries aren't more serious.

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latest update says they didn't fall through a snow bridge. evidently one guy fell and they arrested his fall. Someone got up to help him and he fell pulling two into the slot.

that certainly makes more sense.

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latest update says they didn't fall through a snow bridge. evidently one guy fell and they arrested his fall. Someone got up to help him and he fell pulling two into the slot.

that certainly makes more sense.

 

or, one person fell into the crevasse when the bridge collapsed, and then dragged one or two more into the crevasse becuase the clients did not know how to properly self arrest

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Four injured climbers on Mount Rainier rescued

 

By Warren Cornwall

 

Three climbers and their professional guide were rescued from Mount Rainier by helicopters this afternoon after they fell during a climb high on the mountain.

 

The most seriously injured of the four, Patrick Clemens of Bethlehem, Pa., was airlifted to Madigan Army Medical Center at Fort Lewis with a broken leg and head injuries, said National Park Service spokeswoman Lee Taylor.

 

Another climber, 42-year-old Matthew Fisher of Vernon, N.J., suffered a sore back and a possible spinal injury, and was taken to Harboview Medical Center in Seattle.

 

A third climber, Peter Bridgewater, 54, of Singapore, suffered no major injuries, and was able to walk nearby to be lifted off the mountain by a helicopter. He was in satisfactory condition at Tacoma General Hospital.

 

The guide, 31-year-old John Lucia, lost consciousness for a time after the fall, but was then able to help with the rescue before he was flown to Tacoma General Hospital, where he was in satisfactory condition.

 

Bridgewater fell on a steep slope, pulling the other three - who were roped to him - with them, Taylor said based on a report from a Park-Service climbing ranger at the scene of the rescue.

 

Bridgewater had fallen a moment earlier, but Lucia, who was first in line, was able to stop the fall. But when Bridgwater fell again, all four slid roughly 40 yards down a slope, Taylor said.

 

Lucia and Bridgewater were going so fast they flew over a crevasse. But Fisher and Clemens slid into the crevasse and fell about 20 feet.

 

Earlier reports indicated that the party had been crossing a snow bridge that collapsed, but that report was incorrect, Taylor said.

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What's the point of all this speculation, anyway?

 

To guess what went wrong and note it for yourself in how to avoid an accident for yourself in the future. News media does not always print out the correct story. First they report the story, then they may correct it later.

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Four injured climbers on Mount Rainier rescued

 

By Warren Cornwall

 

Three climbers and their professional guide were rescued from Mount Rainier by helicopters this afternoon after they fell during a climb high on the mountain.

 

The most seriously injured of the four, Patrick Clemens of Bethlehem, Pa., was airlifted to Madigan Army Medical Center at Fort Lewis with a broken leg and head injuries, said National Park Service spokeswoman Lee Taylor.

 

Another climber, 42-year-old Matthew Fisher of Vernon, N.J., suffered a sore back and a possible spinal injury, and was taken to Harboview Medical Center in Seattle.

 

A third climber, Peter Bridgewater, 54, of Singapore, suffered no major injuries, and was able to walk nearby to be lifted off the mountain by a helicopter. He was in satisfactory condition at Tacoma General Hospital.

 

The guide, 31-year-old John Lucia, lost consciousness for a time after the fall, but was then able to help with the rescue before he was flown to Tacoma General Hospital, where he was in satisfactory condition.

 

Bridgewater fell on a steep slope, pulling the other three - who were roped to him - with them, Taylor said based on a report from a Park-Service climbing ranger at the scene of the rescue.

 

Bridgewater had fallen a moment earlier, but Lucia, who was first in line, was able to stop the fall. But when Bridgwater fell again, all four slid roughly 40 yards down a slope, Taylor said.

 

Lucia and Bridgewater were going so fast they flew over a crevasse. But Fisher and Clemens slid into the crevasse and fell about 20 feet.

 

Earlier reports indicated that the party had been crossing a snow bridge that collapsed, but that report was incorrect, Taylor said.

My understanding from the televised reports is that it happened as decribed above, but that when Bridgewater climbed out of the crevasse, he climbed towards the other climbers, allowing slack in the rope. Then he slipped and fell. The slack allowed him to build up so much speed that the other climbers were unable to hold the fall.

 

It's another example of how people forget their training when the adrenaline is flowing.

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My partner is an RMI guide. He told me that Lucia is a pretty stout guy and was suprised anyone dragged him anywhere. It doesn't take much to knock someone over if tugged just right.

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I heard from someone that the crevasse opened up and they fell in after the air got lighter and from all the steam from the volcanoes. Anyone else know anything about this?

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Bill, you are right. I know John from long ago, did some rock climbing with him just before he started with RMI in the mid 1990s. He is indeed a stout, smart, and good climber.

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self arrest technique and all this other good training seems to be a lot more sterile than what actually happens compared to when you are just reading about it in fredom of the hills or whatever.A few years ago in self arrest practice with the mountaineers in the Basic course myself and the 3 others roped to me were walking back up the snow slope we had just practiced a team arrest on ( we fell when instructed)The instructor motioned to the people behind me to do a fall to see how I would react under a more realistic situation ( I didn;t know it was coming) Big difference when you don't know it is coming. The fall was stopped but it took a while and if there was a crevasse nearby well you can figure out the rest.It made me think though and when I am slogging up one of the endless dog routes and sometimes all I can do is put one in front of the other and I am completely exhausted I wonder about that training session and how well I would be able to react to a fall at that moment. Hopefully adrenalin would kick in . I suppose stay within your comfort zone and rest when needed.I have taken a fall without a helmet in a moat at the base of the cleaver and it is scary, life evaluating stuff. That being said it is about time to be thinking about the D.C/. or the Emmons again

Edited by Dan_Larson

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