PMR Assists in Rescue of Injured Mt Adams Climber
Sunday, July 11, 2004
Early Sunday morning and into the afternoon, a team from Portland Mountain
Rescue joined with other rescue units to extricate an injured climber from
12,276-foot Mount Adams in Southwestern Washington.
The female climber injured a lower extremity during a glissading descent of the
mountain on Saturday, but was in stable condition as of Sunday's mission.
She and her climbing partners were hunkered down in a tent near the Lunch
Counter area of Mount Adams, a relatively flat and popular bivouac site near
9,300 feet in elevation.
Under the command of the Yakima County Sheriff's Office, teams from Portland
Mountain Rescue, Central Washington Mountain Rescue and Tacoma Mountain Rescue
left the Cold Springs trailhead around 2:30 AM Sunday morning. The first
team reached the subject at 6:00 AM, packaged her into a litter (backcountry
stretcher) and began lowering operations down the snowy slopes.
Though snow conditions were firm, the teams followed safety protocols and
performed lowering operations down to the dirt trail at the timberline.
From there, a second group of rescuers attached a large wheel to the litter and
carted the patient the remaining 2 miles to waiting medical personnel at the
Cold Springs trailhead.
Though conditions were overcast and snowing on Saturday, a high pressure
weather system moved in Sunday morning and delivered blue skies to the
mountain. Since the patient was stable and many rescuers were already on
the scene, a helicopter extrication was not deemed necessary, despite the clear
Reference map of scene
Patient at the Lunch Counter
Teams begin extrication process
Lowering the litter on the snow
This is the second glissading-related injury on
Portland area Cascade Range mountains in a one week period. Wearing
crampons while glissading is an improper technique that leads to multiple
injuries every climbing season. Please remove crampons and study the
proper method of glissading before attempting this activity.
Glissading is more than simply sliding down snow. Climbers can pick up a
great deal of speed quickly and crash into rocks or other climbers. If
wearing crampons while glissading, climbers can catch their crampons in the
snow and cause compound and/or spiral fractures of bones like the tibia, fibula