Altitude Sickness and Broken Ankle at Trail Camp

On June 24 at approximate 13:30, a 39-year-old male with mild altitude sickness stumbled off the Mt. Whitney Trail and sprained his ankle near Trail Camp (12,000 ft.) while attempting to reach the summit in one day. He was unable to walk and without cell phone reception, so one member of his hiking party walked down the trail to call for help while the other member of his hiking party stayed with him. Two Inyo SAR team members responded to the call and encountered the subject at 10:45 pm at Trail Camp.

Initial medical assessment revealed a mild sprain and mild altitude symptoms. After oxygen was administered, subject was assisted in walking down the Mt. Whitney Trail under the light of the nearly-full moon. By 11:00am the subject had become exhausted, so a wheeled rescue litter was brought 2 miles from the trailhead and the subject was carried/wheeled down the rest of the mountain. Members of Inyo National Forest Fire Crew (Engine 41) helped haul the rescue litter down steep, rocky terrain, and were instrumental in facilitating a faster, safer rescue. The subject was returned to his personal vehicle at 14:45.

Posted in 2013, Missions Reports.