Yosemite Climber Falls 30 Feet After Scaling Higher Cathedral SpireBy: Val Powell - April 22, 2014
Rescue teams had to pluck a Palo Alto rock climber from a popular Yosemite rock formation after he fell 30 feet. The 26-year-old climber, whose name has not been released, was the second person to be rescued this week from Yosemite National Park.
Now in stable condition, the climber is said to have suffered from major injuries after the fall. A California Highway Patrol Helicopter was sent out to the scene after he was unable to move from the severe pain.
The Palo Alto resident and his climbing partner were scaling Higher Cathedral Spire, one of many popular near-vertical granite pinnacles. Around 10 a.m, about 15 feet away from the next anchor point, the climbing team encountered trouble and the climber fell onto a rock bench close to 500 feet above the valley floor.
The California Highway Patrol’s Air Operations Division had difficulty reaching the injured man due to the tough terrain and formidable winds. Officer Andrea Brown, who was the medic aboard the CHP helicopter, stated that in terms of difficulty, she would rate the operation a “7 or 8 out of 10.”
Close to being carried down the rugged slopes on foot, rescue teams were able to secure the man on an air splint and elevate him into the helicopter.
He was transported to a hospital in Modesto, where he is in serious but stable condition.
Climbers from all over the world travel to Yosemite to try to conquer the valley’s famous peaks, with Higher Cathedral Spire being one of the more popular destinations. Park officials claim that most climbers are highly skilled, but rescues are very common.
Just last Tuesday a rescue crew was also sent out to aid a woman in Tenaya Creek who experienced back pain. She too found herself unable to walk, and left in up to the highly trained National Park Service and the CHP rescue team to get her out safely.
Higher Cathedral Spire Summit
Image via Wikimedia Commons