Curious if anyone has info about the accident that happened late afternoon on Friday. My partner and I crossed paths with these guys as we were rappeling the route. We found out later, when we crossed paths with a BLM officer, that one of them broke one or both ankles and would be airlifted out. Heard later that the helicopter extraction was unsuccessful and that they would have to carry him out.
I had wondered what happened out there, saw SAR trucks around 6pm and then the bird flying around out there with the spotlight around 10pm on Friday on the way back from a friend's place in Blue Diamond. Hopefully the injured has a full and speedy recovery.
I was part of the party up on eagle dance and can offer a bit more info. My partner was starting up the 9th pitch of eagle dance when a hold broke on him while clipping. He took a fall onto the 8th pitch belay ramp and broke his left ankle, sprained his right. We called SAR immediately to try and speed the process because i knew i would not be able to get him out alone based on his condition (could not use either of his ankles/could not walk). Luckily he was still conscious so we were able to get back to the base without SAR help. Once the SAR team made contact it was pretty apparent that our only way out would be a heli (imagine trying to carry someone down through the upper reaches of the north fork of oak creek...). Weather didnt cooperate though, it was too windy, and the heli tried to land for extraction multiple times. On the final go for the night, around midnight, the winds finally settled down and we were able to get him flown back to the parking lot and in an ambulance.
Also, we left two alpine draws up on the 9th pitch if anyone wants them!
Just wanted to chime in and let everyone know that I had ankle surgery a couple days ago after getting back home to Salt Lake City and I expect to make a full recovery.
Many thanks are in order:
To the solid efforts by the LVMPD SAR team for a successful rescue!! Mike W., Ben W., and Chad U. were amazing, and many other people whose names I didn’t catch were also involved, so thank you to each of you!
Sean for your clear thinking and lowering me from the route!
Mike from England, and Will from Finland; two stand up guys who had rappelled after climbing Levitation 29 and for sticking around and loaning me your down puffy jackets and other articles to keep me warm as the temps fell.
I know it was a team effort and a long night, and all I can say is thank you LVMPD SAR for your service. When I was finally on the helicopter leaving Eagle Dance I was overwhelmed by what I would call surreal euphoria. Keep an eye out for some thank you snacks/goodies to arrive at the hangar and HQ on 11/20; it’s the least I can do. Again, thank you.