Thursday, July 03, 2008

Crevasse fall - Climber Injured on Kautz Glacier

Kautz Glacier, Mount Rainier

On the afternoon of Tuesday, July 1, a climber fell approximately 15 feet into a crevasse at around 11,400 feet on the Kautz Glacier of Mount Rainier while descending the Mountain. The injured climber, Mitchell Bell, was rescued from the crevasse by his four teammates. Bell had injured ribs and visible lacerations to his head and face, but he was conscious and in stable condition. A doctor in the team quickly determined that due to his known and potential injuries, Bell could not continue the descent without assistance. Two members of the party climbed down in search of help, leaving the doctor, another teammate, and the patient at the scene. Back at Camp Hazard about 1,000 feet below, they found Alpine Ascents International (AAI). Several AAI guides responded to the request for assistance and contacted the National Park Service. A plan was put in place for two AAI guides to travel to the accident scene that evening to assess the injured climber’s condition and bring with them materials for an overnight stay on the Mountain. Based on their assessment, the Incident Commander, David Gottlieb called for air-lift/hoist extraction the following morning.

Within an hour of take-off on Wednesday morning at approximately 6:45 a.m., a US Army Reserve Chinook helicopter from Fort Lewis successfully extracted the injured climber from the Kautz Glacier. The patient was transported to Madigan Hospital for further medical evaluation. He was released later that day.

You can find more in the ST and PI.

~ Monica Magari