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| | |-+  May 23-24, 2009 Stuart Attempt and Rescue
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Author Topic: May 23-24, 2009 Stuart Attempt and Rescue  (Read 18202 times)
Lisa
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May 23-24, 2009 Stuart Attempt and Rescue
« on: 05/28/09, 07:19 PM »

This was a long day, hence a long trip report.

Kurt, Crystal, Dave, Ashlie, Wes and myself headed up to Longs Pass after parking a mere ¼ mile from Longs Pass trailhead.  Dave & Stephanie Brown, along with Corey were coming in later to meet us at Longs Pass in hopes to ski the Cascadian.

When we arrived to Longs Pass we were sorely disappointed to find the base of the route had melted out roughly 1500-2000 ft from the creek.  In swift agreement we came to the conclusion we were no longer motivated for such a short ski as two in the party have skied the route in full and felt it not worthy otherwise. 
For those so inclined, Ulrichs could be skied with a short rap at the waterfall.

With dinner we shared some scotch and watched the sun set.  Dave and Stephanie arrived late evening and built a snow cave a few hundred feet below us.
Out of nowhere came a blasting wind that pursued all night with winds I would surmise averaging 30 mph.  None of us slept more than a few hours, some not at all as we fought the bashing of tent walls and poles that would not stand up to the multi directional gusts.

Naturally the wind died down as the morning sun rose and with that the temps began to quickly rise.  With groans of exhaustion we crawled out of our tents and began to make coffee. 

Kurt, Crystal, Corey, Dave Brown, Wes and I decided to ski Fortune, point 7382 and enjoy some leisure spring skiing. 
We returned 4 hours later knackered and thirsty and learned that Ashlie had taken a fall skiing down point 6878 and possibly torn a muscle in her calf. 
We packed up our gear and made room for hers between the 6 of us as Dave and Stephanie were planning to stay another night. 

Dave Brown had quickly constructed a fantastic sled with her skis, pack and pole shafts while we packed up.

At the point we were ready to leave, her calf had swelled twice its normal size and cramps were seizing up leaving her in excruciating pain.  She drank Gatorade and ate crackers as we urged her to do in hopes we could relieve the cramping if it was in part cause to a sodium potassium imbalance and Stephanie gave her an anti inflammatory.  She could not bear weight on her leg.  It was 5:00 p.m.
 
We made the decision to call S.A.R.  Only Crystal’s phone had coverage so she made the call to the Sheriffs office in hopes to render a team and snowmobile for transport.  If a team could be deployed with snowmobiles we could be out by dark, but I also knew from prior such calls both on the job and as a rescuer years prior, this was unlikely. 
With logistics I knew it would take well over an hour for base operations to arrive at the trailhead with sufficient staff, let alone the time to get in.  I knew time was of essence and we had to race against the veil of nightfall.

The Sheriff’s office took our GPS coordinates and asked us to call back in 30 min.  When we did so they asked for another 10 min.  Their uncertainty made me decide it was best we move her ourselves.
In final discussion, they said a team would come in on foot, I told Crystal to explain that we were going to make the effort to move on, the time was 5:40.  Dave and Stephanie decided to leave with us and help get Ashlie down.

At 6:00 we had Ashlie on the sled and were beginning our descent.  The sled worked for a short time before the tips were buried beneath wet snow proving our efforts futile. 

I told Dave Brown, that he and I could carry her between us and make snow-plow turns. 
A more successful but short distance was made.  On a steeper slope ahead she was able to slide down behind Dave Coleman to a flat spot just below while I carried his and my pack to the bottom of the slope.
 
Again Dave Brown and I skied, carrying Ashlie between us then Corey and I took our turn, then Dave Brown and Corey. 

Wes skied down a short distance, dropped his pack and climbed back up to piggy back her while he skied back down to his pack.  Corey stepped up next and did the same.  Dave Coleman and I skied with Corey's pack between us for a short distance while Cory made tree turns in style with Ashlie on his back.  He and Wes took turns leapfrogging one another and the transportation went fast.  Dave Brown proceeded to carry Corey's large pack across his chest down to the summer trail. 

Low and behold less than a mile from the parking lot came 4 men on foot with snowshoes and a litter.  It was 9:15.  We packaged Ashlie and Kurt, Crystal and I helped the men carry the litter to the parking lot.   
We had gotten down before darkness fell and I was relieved and proud of everyone’s efforts to work so well together making it happen.  Kudos to everyone for all your efforts and patience!!  And a speedy recovery to Ashlie, what a trooper she was!


* Stuart.jpg (120.83 KB, 800x600 - viewed 2089 times.)

* Group1.jpg (120.33 KB, 800x600 - viewed 2118 times.)

* Group2.jpg (81.35 KB, 800x600 - viewed 2078 times.)
« Last Edit: 05/28/09, 08:46 PM by Lisa » Logged
Monika
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Re: May 23-24, 2009 Stuart Atempt and Rescue
« Reply #1 on: 05/28/09, 07:51 PM »



Wow, sounds like a lot of great teamwork !!!!!
Ashlie may you get better real sooooon.  Glad to hear there were so many to help on that long day.
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lordhedgie
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WWW
Re: May 23-24, 2009 Stuart Atempt and Rescue
« Reply #2 on: 05/28/09, 07:53 PM »

You made the news on KXLE.  Good job helping her out, and best wishes for a speedy recovery!
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If you don't do it this year, you'll be one year older when you don't do it next year.
Benk
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Re: May 23-24, 2009 Stuart Atempt and Rescue
« Reply #3 on: 05/28/09, 08:37 PM »

Good team work Everyone.  Glad Ash is alright.  Heal quick!
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telemack
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Re: May 23-24, 2009 Stuart Attempt and Rescue
« Reply #4 on: 05/28/09, 09:01 PM »

Sounds like everyone was well trained, experienced, fit, and worked together well. 
Kudos to the SAR team too.  Anyone who would volunteer for the slog to Longs Pass knowing that they would be operating in the dark has my respect.
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There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval.
George Santayana
Kyle Miller
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Re: May 23-24, 2009 Stuart Attempt and Rescue
« Reply #5 on: 05/28/09, 09:45 PM »

Wow... Great work everyone you really pulled together and made the best decision in the worst situation.
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In a perfect world, everybody would act with the correct etiquette and follow the rules. Human nature as it is= NOT GOING TO HAPPEN....no matter how many discussion on ski blogs/websites. Face reality............
jdclimber
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Re: May 23-24, 2009 Stuart Attempt and Rescue
« Reply #6 on: 05/28/09, 10:07 PM »

Great work! That was not a rescue, that was a self-evac of the finest form. A non-preventable injury followed by the proudest form of self reliance does not constitute a rescue.

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ryanl
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Re: May 23-24, 2009 Stuart Attempt and Rescue
« Reply #7 on: 05/28/09, 10:43 PM »

Lots of respect to you all. Get well soon Ashlie!
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David_Coleman
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Re: May 23-24, 2009 Stuart Attempt and Rescue
« Reply #8 on: 05/28/09, 11:35 PM »

Jdclimber - you are so right.  Despite tearing the biggest of the calf muscle group & a severe tweak of the ankle area, Ash really wanted to try & make it out on her own (I think it's that tough east coast thing that people talk about Smiley).   Kudos also to the efforts of this fine group of ski mountaineers!
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Jason_H.
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Re: May 23-24, 2009 Stuart Attempt and Rescue
« Reply #9 on: 05/28/09, 11:41 PM »

Dave and Ash, you guys are awesome. Ashlie, heal up soon! The mountains will always be there. Before you know it, you'll be shredding them up.
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T. Eastman
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Re: May 23-24, 2009 Stuart Attempt and Rescue
« Reply #10 on: 05/28/09, 11:45 PM »

Sounds like a ripped achilles that window shaded up to the calf.  Good work gang.
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Marcus
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Re: May 23-24, 2009 Stuart Attempt and Rescue
« Reply #11 on: 05/29/09, 12:03 AM »

Great job y'all.  I carry a lightweight tarp these days, to make one of these:  http://www.nspnj.org/faher_flyer.html

Very similar to what y'all came up with, I'm sure, with some modifications to keep the tips from plowing under.  Nice work!!
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JimD
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Re: May 23-24, 2009 Stuart Attempt and Rescue
« Reply #12 on: 05/29/09, 06:53 AM »

Great work team - a story like this should make the news instead of all the lost/fallen climber crap that gets sensationalized.
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John Morrow
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Re: May 23-24, 2009 Stuart Attempt and Rescue
« Reply #13 on: 05/29/09, 07:53 AM »

Incredible effort you all and impeccably done!  I don't know of much in this world more challenging than being in incredible pain, or being the partners who have to witness a close friend experiencing that pain, while being responsible for doing one's best to limit the pain in the face of a difficult evac.  And it takes so much courage to face the fear of not knowing when/how one is going to get out while in all that excruciating agony.
My thoughts are with you to heal FAST, Ashlie!
John
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David_Coleman
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Re: May 23-24, 2009 Stuart Attempt and Rescue
« Reply #14 on: 05/29/09, 09:11 AM »

A couple of pics from the day.  The first is Ash harvesting some corn before she decided to challenge the group on the way out, and the second is the SAR assistance near the TH. 


* Ash6a.jpg (97.22 KB, 400x282 - viewed 1798 times.)

* SARAsh1.jpg (120.42 KB, 400x300 - viewed 1764 times.)
« Last Edit: 05/29/09, 09:23 AM by David_Coleman » Logged
solowascent
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Re: May 23-24, 2009 Stuart Attempt and Rescue
« Reply #15 on: 05/29/09, 09:46 AM »

Thank you all so much for the well wishes on a quick recovery, turns out I have Medial Head Gastrocnemius tear, Ankle joint strain (Capsulitis/Synovitis), and Deltoid strain. 

And to the rockstar team of the year; Wes, Kurt, Dave, Dave, Lisa, Steph, Crystal, and Cory, I can’t thank you all enough! I agree that your collaboration SHOULD make the news as I am still amazed at how efficiently you pulled together this rescue mission.  Lisa, you are definitely missing your calling in life, your skills would best be served as a fulltime ranger.  Oh, and Cory and Wes…Giddy-up!


* CoreyPiggyBackin271.jpg (120.52 KB, 400x300 - viewed 1756 times.)
« Last Edit: 05/29/09, 09:58 AM by solowascent » Logged
Amar Andalkar
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Re: May 23-24, 2009 Stuart Attempt and Rescue
« Reply #16 on: 05/29/09, 10:19 AM »

Wow, guess I've been out of the loop completely (and out of the state), I didn't even know this had happened. Great work on the self-evac! It makes me proud to have friends as capable and skilled as all of you.

Ashlie, that's a great photo, glad to see you're smiling through the ordeal. I hope you heal quickly and will be back in the mountains shortly. And skiing down Rainier soon in fine form too!!


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mzchristy
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Re: May 23-24, 2009 Stuart Attempt and Rescue
« Reply #17 on: 05/29/09, 11:29 AM »

Wow! What an amazing feat you accomplished as a team. Ashlie, I am so sorry to hear that you are injured! As Jason said, the mountains aren't going anywhere. Take good care of yourself and heal quickly.
I agree completely with Amar. I am so proud and privelged to have such a fantastic team of friends and climbers, such as yourselves.
Lisa, you have so many talents! You'd be an excellent ranger. Smiley Or writer!!!
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cascadesfreak
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Re: May 23-24, 2009 Stuart Attempt and Rescue
« Reply #18 on: 05/29/09, 12:12 PM »

Yikes! Great work all!  Nice write-up on the TR Lisa.
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Big Steve
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Re: May 23-24, 2009 Stuart Attempt and Rescue
« Reply #19 on: 05/29/09, 01:38 PM »

Great work on the evac.  Best of luck with the recovery.
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Daniel_G
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Posts: 50


Re: May 23-24, 2009 Stuart Attempt and Rescue
« Reply #20 on: 05/31/09, 10:07 AM »

Wow. Nice TR Lisa. Sounds like you got more than you bargained for. Great effort. The epics are more memorable than the summits it seems.
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ovrthhills
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Re: May 23-24, 2009 Stuart Attempt and Rescue
« Reply #21 on: 05/31/09, 06:45 PM »

After dislocating my shoulder deep in the Wallowas a few years ago I have a special appreciation for your situation and the consequences of accidents in the backcountry.  I too had a large group with many resources to facilitate my evacuation. I concluded that large, self sufficient, groups are the best way to ski in the backcountry and ski partners should always be cherished.  Good work all.   
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Dan-Miller
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Re: May 23-24, 2009 Stuart Attempt and Rescue
« Reply #22 on: 06/01/09, 02:53 PM »

 Cool  Very Well Done Crew.  A rigouous attitude once again saves the day!
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Feck
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Re: May 23-24, 2009 Stuart Attempt and Rescue
« Reply #23 on: 06/02/09, 06:38 AM »

Hey,

We didn't get Stuart, but we did have some fun skiing.

The accident sucked, but I'm glad we all worked together so well to deal with the issue.

The whole thing did inspired me to look at and register with this site (maybe that's a bad thing  Wink )
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danhelmstadter
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Re: May 23-24, 2009 Stuart Attempt and Rescue
« Reply #24 on: 06/02/09, 01:26 PM »

hope you heal well and soon Ashlie
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