Lone Pine Peak climber fell

A 23 year-old male reported that he fell approx 50 feet while climbing the North Ridge of Lone Pine Peak.  He reported pain in his leg, arm and back; he was bleeding profusely and had lost of consciousness briefly.  He and his party were about 3/4 of the way up Lone Pine Peak.  A Bishop SAR team of 4 with two vehicles headed out; we found H-40, a CHP helo, was just finishing something in Mammoth and would soon be available, but we only had a few hours of daylight and winds were picking up.  Knowing we would have an all night technical climb carrying much gear to stabilize and treat patient, we drove a little fast (I apologize to the CHP) to do everything we could to get at least a hasty team on the helicopter before we were shut down.

I got my best 3 members placed on the summit along with 2 from China Lake before we were shut down with high winds and darkness.  The rest of the team prepared for possible night ascent and preparing for much needed morning helo, but we had no guarantees.  The field team were all carrying heavy packs and started down climbing and rappelling the Northeast ridge, making it to the patient @ 1:30AM.  They said it would be a terribly hard and long lower requiring winches and many team members;  no appropriate large Helos were available, so we got H-40 set up for the morning wind and weather permitting, with a crew that could winch.   The support team made a package with a litter, backboard and supplies to be dropped at first light.

I’ll let the technical team members describe the rest of the mission:

Here are some basic facts about the Mission:
The party was ascending the North Ridge route of Lone Pine Peak. At approx 13:00 on 5-20-12, one Pratyush Tiwari (23 yo Male) fell approx 50ft when a foothold broke.  He was climbing unroped. The uninjured in his party (x3) descended, performed first aid and stabilized him and called 911 immediately.
XX was inserted on the summit plateau at 17:00
XX and I were inserted @ 17:30
XX and XX@ about 18:00
Upon reaching the summit proper, we established visual of the party.
China Lake rescue and Inyo SAR met up just below the summit and joined forces (and ropes) for our descent, and stayed together for all of 5-20 and 5-21.
I(V) was in the lead most of the time and set up 100% of our rappel and belay anchors on 5-20-12.  We rappelled aprox. 6 times, roped up for one pitch, and used a fixed hand line for one traverse on 5-20-12.  One rappel was 400 ft long, the rest were all under 35 meters.
We established visual and vocal comms w/ the party at about 00:00.
after 500ft more of rappelling, and aprox 300ft of climbing, I was the first to reach the PT @ 1:15.  I established and introduced myself and began my initial medical assessment.
PT. was AO4 w/ CC of left ankle pain and left forearm pain.
I performed a Head to Toe and found tenderness upon palpation in the cervical spine and the lower lumbar spine, coccyx, L forearm/wrist, L ankle, R ankle.
I placed a sleeping bag on the PT, and advised his party (there were 3 uninjured) to give him water.
I proceeded to take two sets of vitals.
I called in a SOAP note to XX on MRA @ approx 2:00
XX arrived @ approx 2:15, XX @ approx 2:20
At that point I turned the medical over to them.
We all exposed and treated the most severe wounds (2 possible compound fractures in L ankle, possible fracture of L Radius and compartment syndrome in L Forearm, possible spinal damage) w/ XX and XX leading.
Once PT was cleaned, splinted and warm, we cleaned up our medical site, and advised his party to try and sleep.  We provided insulation and shelter as they cuddled.
All rescuers hunkered down for attempts to sleep @ aprox 3:30
Upon first light 5-21-12 we began communicating w/ base, and then H40 for extraction planning.
(at this time I lost track of times of events…)
CHP H40 flew by to assess options
CHP H40 dropped litter, backboard and other gear to us.
we packed patient for transport while CHP H40 flew by in area
Once finished CHP H40 dropped their line, and extracted the PT.  XX from China Lake MR manned the Tag Line.
*This was agreed upon as the single best most laudable effort by a CHP Heli in anyone’s memory!  🙂
H40 returned (after unloading PT) to take PT’s belongings and approx 100lbs of our group gear down for us.
We communicated plans to base to continue descending the North Ridge Lone Pine Peak and exit via Meysan Lakes Trail.
we left the site of the incident @ 08:00 5-21-12
we belayed 1 pitch, and rappelled once.
The uninjured in the party went ahead of us in the descent gully and departed from us at approx 11:30
All rescuers were back at the Meysan Lakes Trailhead at 14:00
As team leader I was very happy with all members efforts, this could have been a very long and dangerous technical carryout if even one of the many variables had gone wrong.  Everyone involved should be very proud.


Posted in 2012, Missions Reports.