The following accounts of field operations are the best efforts of the newsletter editor, are NOT official reports, and may have errors and omissions, for which apologies and regrets are expressed in advance.
January 1, 2018, 18-003, #1 At 12:15 PM the Mono County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue (SAR) Team was called out for rescue of an injured ice climber. A 64 year old Mono County man fell about 40 feet while climbing ice at Chouinard Falls in Lee Vining Canyon (37.94113, -119.22550). Five SAR team members hiked down from the green bridge on the Hwy 120 Tioga Pass road, while two more were lowered from CHP helicopter H40. The subject was placed in a litter and carried to a location where a helicopter hoist was done by CHP helicopter H40. He was transferred to Care Flight at Lee Vining airport, and flown to Reno for treatment. Responders were: Beck (Ops), Pelichowski (IC), Kaufman, Bush, Guffey, Greene, Creager, Thompson, Torrence, and Traxler.
Adapted from the Sierra Mountain Guides Ice Report - January 3, 2018
Accident at Chouinard Falls – Leader fall on Ice – by Viren Perumal
CHP H-40 coming in for the extrication of the injured Ice climber (1/1/2018 Tanya Godinez)
Ice climber placed in Bauman Bag brought by Mono County SAR team members that were inserted by H-40 preparing the victim for a hoist in challenging terrain. – (1/1/2018 Tanya Godinez)
…I was guiding on 1/1/2018 and witnessed a lead climber taking a 40-50 foot fall impacting multiple ledges. He had placed 3 screws and his upper screw along with his belayer caught his fall. I was able to use the SMG Delorme In Reach Satelite communication device to initiate contact with Mono County Sheriffs Dispatch. I was able to inform them about location and information about the accident and terrain that would make a litter carry impractical. I was able to communicate directly with Cal OES (Office of Emergency Services) to relay information through Satellite Texting Capabilities. Ice climbers entering the canyon should be aware that even though we can see a state highway across from us – these areas are difficult to access and serious and relatively remote. The accident occurred at approximately 10:30 and the fall victim was extricated at around 3PM Given the length of winter days and the lengthy response time not having Satelite communication would have meant a night rescue mission or a night out for the patient. Please consider appropriate back country communication for your trips into the mountains. We are all thankful for the Volunteers of the SAR team and the crew of CHP H-40….
The patient is recovering from his injuries well at Renown Medical Center in Reno.
Officers for 2018 were approved by the Board on January 8:
2018 Board of Directors - President: Carole Schilz; Vice President: Luke Hammack; Secretary: Marie French; Member: Chris Thompson; Member: Lisa Cowan; Member: Eric Kaufman; Member: Barry Beck; Member: Steve Case; Member: Jim Gilbreath
2018 Staff - Chief Financial Officer: Bill Greene; Training Officer: Barry Beck; Membership Director: Eric Kaufman; Facilities Director: Bruce Torrence; Equipment Director: Barbara Barnum; Special Events Director: Vacant; Public Relations Director: Jim Gilbreath; Website: Lisa Cowan
January 10, 2018 - Spinal Injuries after meeting training with Eric Kaufman
January 13, 2018 - Lake Ice Rescue Training at Lundy Lake with Natai Endo - Bruce Torrence Photos and Video
January 14-15, 2018, 18-030, #2 At 2357 on Sunday January 14, the Mono County Sheriff's Search and Rescue (SAR) Team was called out for rescue of a 20 year old man from Hayward, CA, who was reported overdue from a climb of White Mountain Peak. He and the companion Reporting Party (RP) departed from Black Eagle Camp, but the RP turned back short of the summit, and later reported to 911 that the subject had communicated via cell phone that he had slipped and fallen 15 feet and was unable to hike down to his car. The Team responded with five rescuers, 3 rescue trucks, and a Polaris Ranger ATV. By the time the Polaris crew reached the subject's car, he had managed to hike down unassisted, though painfully. He was followed down to Base, where he refused medical assistance. Due to the remote location, Team vehicles logged a total of 550 miles. Responders were: Beck (Ops), Pelichowski (IC), Torrence, Case, Luke Hammack, and Wallace.
January 20, 2018 - Rigging Refresher Training with Natai Endo,Kirk Hartstrom, Luke Hammack and Ben Traxler - Bruce Torrence Photos and Video