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Mike_Gauthier

Rescues and more route images

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Yet another rescue today...

 

People keep asking if things are "bad up there?" Fact is, things are GREAT up there. I think we're just in a bad string of incidents and I hope they stop soon b/c 1. it stinks to see people get hurt and 2. the climbing is excellent on the mountain. Really, it is, the routes look good.

 

I've posted a number of new aerial images. I don't recommend all the routes photographed (like the Nisqually Icefall or Icecliff) but I thought I'd post the images for enjoyment.

 

Quick link here to WA State Gallery: http://www.cascadeclimbers.com/plab/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=682

 

Climb safely everyone!

 

PS, I got 16 more summits! bigdrink.gif

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Mike, thanks for the photos, they are really cool.

 

Do you have any close ups of the area above the S-shape gully on the south tahoma headwall? (i.e. how the gully would connect to Point Success). It's hard to see in there.

 

682South_Tahoma.JPG

 

(strictly for armchair usage of course tongue.gif)

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I found this to be a rather accurate account of yesterdays incident.

 

Climbers rescued after fall on Rainier

JEFFREY P. MAYOR; The News Tribune

Published: July 8th, 2005 12:01 AM

 

LONGMIRE – The “heroic” efforts of guide Jon Lucia and a mix of good fortune are being credited with saving the lives of two climbers who fell Thursday morning into a crevasse on Mount Rainier.

 

A slip sent the Rainier Mountaineering Inc. guide and three clients careening 120 feet down the mountain before two of the men fell into a crevasse at 12,750 feet.

 

A Black Hawk helicopter from the Oregon National Guard in Salem flew Patrick Clemens of Bethlehem, Pa., to Madigan Army Medical Center. He had a serious head injury, a broken leg and possible broken ribs, according to the climbing rangers. Mount Rainier National Park officials did not have his age.

 

Matthew Fisher, 42, of Vernon, N.J., was flown by a second helicopter to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. He was admitted to the intensive care unit with broken ribs and a liver injury.

 

Peter Bridgewater, 54, of Singapore, suffered a dislocated shoulder.

 

Lucia, 31, of Ashford, suffered a head injury and a likely broken nose, according to rangers. He and Bridgewater were taken to Tacoma General Hospital. They were in satisfactory condition.

 

Lucia, a 10-year veteran with RMI, was roped to the other three as they climbed Ingraham Glacier above Disappointment Cleaver. One of the clients fell about 7:20 a.m., but Lucia was able to stop the client’s fall down the icy, 45-degree slope.

 

David Gottlieb, the rescue team leader, said the client regained his footing and began walking toward Lucia. But before the two could meet up, the client fell again. Because of the slack in the rope, the client built momentum. The jerk of the line when it went taut pulled down Lucia and the other two climbers.

 

Gottlieb said as the group slid down the glacier, someone tried to slow the fall with an ice ax, gouging a line in the ice.

 

“The mountain was unforgiving this morning. There was a glaze of ice on the slope,” Gottlieb said.

 

The fall came to a sudden halt after Lucia and Bridgewater slid over an 8-foot-wide crevasse, leaving Lucia bloodied and unconscious.

 

Fisher and Patrick fell 20 feet into the crevasse, landing on a false snow floor but perhaps preventing the four from sliding farther down the mountain.

 

Moments later, Lucia regained consciousness, radioed RMI headquarters in Ashford for help and began tending to his fellow climbers. RMI guides from other climbing groups quickly reached the scene and began treating the victims.

 

Gottlieb and his team, plus climbing rangers from elsewhere on the mountain, were flown by helicopters to the scene.

 

“RMI had really good control of the situation. They definitely did what they could to stabilize the victims,” climbing ranger Matt Hendrickson said of the situation when he arrived.

 

Still, it took several hours to bring the two injured climbers out of the crevasse.

 

“We were on a false floor of snow, which sometime this summer will melt and collapse. But you knew this crevasse goes another 100 feet down,” Gottlieb said. “Plus, there were giant chandelier icicles hanging over the scene down there.”

 

There was enough room in the crevasse that four rangers could enter it to treat Clemens and Fisher.

 

Gottlieb said the right combination of events unfolded to get the two severely injured climbers to hospitals quickly.

 

“When it is icy like it was this morning, it’s a death fall situation. The potential for the fall to worsen if they had gone beyond the crevasse is pretty high,” he said.

 

SOME GOOD fortune

 

Rescuers also were aided by the availability of several helicopters. A contract aircraft already at the mountain and an Army Reserve Chinook helicopter from Fort Lewis were able to transport rangers and gear to the scene.

 

The quick response by other guides also speeded the rescue.

 

“If they didn’t have a guide, or other guides nearby, they might have died,” Gottlieb said.

 

As for Lucia, who has summited the 14,411-foot mountain more than 120 times, Gottlieb said he deserves much credit.

 

“Heroic, definitely. To be knocked unconscious, have a broken nose, be covered in blood, then to stand up and give 100 percent of his attention to the other climbers is just heroic,” Gottlieb said.

 

“He was beaten all over the head, but he totally concentrated on the others. At one point, I had to tap him on the shoulder and tell him he needs to go to the hospital.”

 

That is just the type of person Lucia is, said Brenda Walsh, a fellow RMI guide. She was headed up the mountain Thursday afternoon on a personal climb.

 

“He’s easygoing, pretty relaxed. He doesn’t get stressed out,” Walsh said. “He’s tall and lanky, but he’s strong as an ox.”

 

Conditions on the Disappointment Cleaver route, one of the most popular on the mountain, were good, said Lou Whittaker, co-founder and president of RMI.

 

“It was perfect, good weather, light wind, sunny. It was just really good,” Whittaker said. “We’ve got climbs that go up that route every day.

 

“But the glacier moves a foot and a half a day. The route always changes. You have to pick your way across it,” he said.

 

Seven accidents in seven days

 

Thursday’s accident was the seventh on the mountain in seven days, according to Mike Gauthier, leading climbing ranger at the park.

 

The other accidents involved:

 

• A climber suffering a broken leg from falling rock.

 

• A team of four climbers who were stranded and needed to

be taken off the mountain.

 

• A climber who had a heart attack while on the Tahoma Glacier.

 

• A climber who dislocated his knee coming down from Camp Muir.

 

• A climber who suffered a back injury at Camp Muir.

 

• And a climber who was airlifted off the Kautz route after being hurt by falling ice.

 

“Climbing conditions have been really good this year,” Gauthier said. “But it’s been nonstop for us this week.”

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Mike,

 

I just don't understand why Lucia didn't order the two clients and himself to stake in snow pickets or ice screws as anchors before he let Bridgewater climbed out.

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Mike, thanks for the photos, they are really cool.

 

Do you have any close ups of the area above the S-shape gully on the south tahoma headwall? (i.e. how the gully would connect to Point Success). It's hard to see in there. (strictly for armchair usage of course tongue.gif)

 

I don't have any NPS/work images of this area at this time Phil. If we get more flights, I'll try to snap a few.

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By the way...Would you be interested in that Annapurna Im selling?.....Or know anyone?...lol

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Hey Mike, nice shots, for sure. Any chance you have some recent shots of Mowich Face? I didn't see any in the gallery. Again, strictly for armchair use. wink.gif

Thanks!

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