Mar 3, 2009

Alpine rescue

Guy McCarthy at Watershed News reports on today's mountain rescue high above Palm Springs:
Alpine-trained volunteers and a helicopter crew today plucked two overdue climbers high off the north face of Mount San Jacinto, one of the steepest escarpments in the continental United States.


The rugged drainages of Snow Creek and Falls Creek rise from about 1,400 feet at Snow Creek Village to San Jacinto's summit at just over 10,800 feet elevation. The north face direct route requires more than 9,000 feet of walking, scrambling and technical climbing - including snow and ice in ideal conditions.

"It's a classic alpine route when the snow is right," said RMRU volunteer Pete Carlson, 59, of Lake Arrowhead, who has climbed the north face route a half-dozen times. "You can do it in 12 hours when the route is hard underfoot."

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