June 14, 2011
Rescues Include Injured Climber on El Capitan, an Injured Hang Glider, and a Canine Rescue
Over the past week, Yosemite National Park Rangers have conducted a variety of Search and Rescue operations, all with successful results. These ranged from a complex high angle rescue on El Capitan, to the rescue of a family pet.
On Sunday, June 12, the Yosemite Emergency Communication Center received a call for help from 26 year old Matthew Seymour of Evergreen, Colorado. Seymour reported a leg injury due to a lead fall while rope soloing on El Capitan. Seymour was stranded at the top of the 23rd pitch of the Muir Wall climbing route, approximately 900 feet below the summit. Early yesterday morning, a Search and Rescue team was transported by helicopter from Crane Flat to the summit of El Capitan. They lowered a rescuer to Seymour and then raised both to the summit. Seymour was then transported to Crane Flat by helicopter and later transported by ground ambulance to John C. Fremont Hospital in Mariposa.
In the early afternoon of June 9, an eleven year old black Labrador named "Sweety" escaped its leash and chased a squirrel over the stone wall at the popular Tunnel View lookout, falling down a steep embankment leading to an area of extreme exposure typical to Yosemite National Park. Park Custodian, Greg Warren, was at Tunnel View at the time of the incident. Warren radioed for help and attempted to locate the dog. Park Rangers responded and were also unable to locate to dog and were left to assume the worst. On June 11, Resource Manager Ryan Leahy was in a wooded area below the lookout and heard the dog whimpering from below the rim. Park Ranger Matt Stark and Ryan Leahy responded and rappelled approximately one hundred feet to the dog and found it uninjured trapped on a small exposed ledge. Greg Warren, the Yosemite Bear Management Team and several Park Rangers performed a quick rope raise and brought both safely back to the rim.
Additionally, Park Rangers responded to an injured hang glider in Leidig Meadow on Saturday, June 11. The injured 64 year old male, had serious injuries and was transported out of the park via helicopter. Shortly before that, Yosemite Park Rangers assisted with an injured snowboarder with a fractured femur who was in the Inyo National Forest, just east of Mount Dana. National Park Ranger Chris Bellino was lowered to the injured person via helicopter and the person was transported to an area hospital.