El Cap Report 05/17/07

ElCap Report 5/17/07

 By Tom Evans

BIG RESCUE ON THE CAP TODAY. A guy fell from the pitch above the king swing and broke his femur with gallons of blood on eagle ledge. I called it in around 9:30 am and told 911 to get some one here fast as the guy was bleeding to death. He was on Eagle ledge with his partner who was doing everything he could to keep him alive... never seen such an amount of blood... the ledge was streaming with it. Anyway ... 3 choppers showed up and the full SAR rescue team arrived after a time.

They decided to attempt to lower Jack and Keith from a chopper to the guy. The winds have been blowing hard all week but today was different and it was just a breeze. Plan B was also put in place with the rescue team being flown to the top with ropes for a full on lower down planned if the chopper couldn’t get in close... I don’t think the guy would have survived the 6 hours that would take to do. Anyway, the chopper flew and made a pass and then carefully came back and was just able to hover over the ledge long enough for Rangers Jack and Keith to rap down to the guys with a litter. After they stabilized him the chopper came up again and got him hauled up and flown down to the valley floor where he was attended to and flown out... some piece of flying that was... they say he will survive!! He was down in 3 hours total from call to fly out... Keith Jack and the remaining partner rapped off and were down in a few hours... YOSAR plucks another Brother from the jaws of death.... SWEET!!

All traffic on the nose was of course stopped for several hours and some parties decided to bail as of course they would cross that bloody ledge if going on. A few parties are going on.

Zodiac: does have a couple of parties lurking on the first two pitches.

LA:  Kate and Handsome Mike did two more pitches on LA today and are getting into the groove.

Trip: Dave AAron Matt were half way up the Trip on their push when I left around 5 pm

Mescalito:  Eric and Mo are on the Mescalito part of Space and moving right along.

Salathe:  A couple parties are on Salathe higher up along with Stanley and the Euro woman on Golden Gate.

Other than that no one else has appeared above the tree line yet but will keep an eye out for anyone coming along as several of you have mentioned. Scary day here with all of us very concerned for several hours until the rescue concluded...

More later... Tom Evans, chillin at the El Cap Bridge.