Teen Falls on Mt. Jefferson

by Bob Freund

Mission Report 95-05
Member Hours: 205 Miles: 1,258

During the weekend of July 29/30, six teenage boys elected to climb Mt. Jefferson via the Milk Creek route. Nearing the summit pinnacle, they drifted north, crossing the creek and ascended steep snow without helmets and unroped. Not all had ice axes. At about 1430, a large boulder was dislodged by members of the party and rolled toward another member causing him to lose his footing. He took a tumbling, sliding fall of nearly 600 feet into Milk Creek coulior. During the fall, he sustained an open fracture of the left forearm, possible closed head injury, numerous lacerations, and although he did not know it, a fractured ankle. Dressed primarily in shorts and T-shirts, the six were not prepared to bivouac. Three remained with the injured teen while two descended to their camp at 6400' to alert another member of their party before leaving for help. By 2000, the injured boy, who had been unconscious following the fall, was more lucid and his friends began assisting him toward their camp, 3000 feet below. They arrived in camp around 0230.
CMRU Mission Coordinator, Bill Ellison, received a call at 1915, and at Bill's direction, Benton County paged CMRU at 1930. The truck was underway before 2100 and arrived at the Pamelia Lake Trailhead about 2300. Shortly after midnight, CMRU, ESAR, and Posse teams were in the field heading toward the jump off point on the Pacific Crest Trail. CMRU and ESAR teams carried gear up the mountain and located the camp at 0543. While the medical team assessed the patient and checked out others in the climbing group who sustained minor injuries, the remaining teams arrived with evacuation gear. Medical information was passed to the 304th ARRS and they launched two helicopters plus a C130.
The helicopters arrived on scene at 0902 and inserted two PJ's with a backboard and litter. The patient was transferred from CMRU's litter to 304th's and packaged for helicopter evac. The helicopter returned and maintained a 7 foot hover while the litter and patient were placed aboard. The PJ's scrambled aboard and the evolution was complete at 0949. Field teams packed up gear and departed the scene at 1023, arrived at the PCT at 1136, and returned to base camp by 1400.
This was a very smooth mission with excellent cooperation between the various Units. PMR had sent 3 personnel who patiently waited in Base Camp.

Participants: Jeremy Adolf, Bill Ellison, Bob Freund, Jeff Gent, Rod Harney, Susan Leach, Wayne Lederer, Don Lacer, Joy Linn, Mike McCann, Jon Sears, Angela Sharps

Phographer unknown