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Man Rescued After Being Pinned Under Boulder

Pinnacles Press Release

Release Date: 12/06/2011

On a sunny day perfect for hiking and climbing, rangers at Pinnacles National Monument were informed that a climber was pinned under a boulder and in need of assistance. When National Park Service (NPS) personnel arrived on scene the trapped climber was free from the boulder after his climbing partner dug out the talus from under him, allowing him to scramble out.

Soon after the climber’s condition deteriorated and he was nearly unresponsive when NPS personnel reached him. The climber was on a steep talus (loose rock) slope with thick shrubby vegetation, making reaching the climber difficult. NPS personnel hiked a mile to reach the climber with a litter and other medical equipment. A Calstar helicopter was able to respond and touched down on a nearby ridge, about a 20 minute scramble over the talus, to drop off a medic and flight nurse to assist with the rescue.

Once the climber was secured for movement the NPS set up a belay system and NPS and Calfire personnel lowered the climber approximately 50 feet down a steep slope to a place where California Highway Patrol (CHP) could hoist the hiker up to their helicopter. The Calstar crew and helicopter met the CHP helicopter in the parking area to transfer the climber to Calstar for transport to a bay area hospital.

The rescue took just under three hours. Cooperation from park partners, including Calfire, Soledad Fire, California Highway Patrol, AMR Ambulance and Calstar, resulted in a quick, safe response to evacuate the hiker.

For additional information, please contact Nichole Andler (Interpretation Division) at (831) 389–4486 ext. 265

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