Oregon guide dies, 4 climbers injured in Mount Shasta falls

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Four climbers were injured and a climbing guide was killed Monday in three separate crashes on Mount Shasta due to unstable ice.

The falls were reported at 8:35 a.m., 12:31 p.m. and 4 p.m. The sheriff’s office released the name of the person killed and withheld from releasing the identities and ages of the four injured.

“We advise climbers not to summit for the next two days until the ice softens,” said Courtney Kreider, public information officer for the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office.

In the first incident, Sheriff’s Office climbing guide Jillian Elizabeth Webster, 32, of Redmond, Oregon, and two climbers were tied together and climbing the mountain above Lake Helen when one of them them lost their footing, causing all three to fall. The three climbers slid on snow and ice 1,500 to 2,500 vertical feet down the mountain, according to the sheriff’s office.

Webster was unresponsive after the fall. A nurse, who was climbing nearby, administered CPR to Webster. A California Highway Patrol helicopter airlifted Webster to Mercy Medical Center in Mount Shasta where she died.

The helicopter also airlifted a climber to the Ski Bowl parking lot, where medical personnel transferred him to an air ambulance which transported him to Mercy Medical Center in Redding. He had been under observation and recovering since Monday evening, the sheriff’s office said.

A climber was also taken in the CHP helicopter to the Ski Bowl parking lot. She was transferred to a land ambulance which took her to Mercy Mount Shasta. She too was under observation and recovering.

The second fall left another climber in critical condition, the sheriff’s office said.

What looked like a solid freeze on Mount Shasta turned out to be very unstable, people recreating Monday said.

“There was a lot of water ice on top of the snowpack,” Wallace Casper of Bozeman, Montana, said in police video. These conditions made it slippery to the point that it was difficult, if not impossible, to stop once you started sliding.

The climber in this second incident fell about 1,000 feet above Lake Helen.

United States Rangers said his injuries were not serious. They helped him down the mountain for part of the way. When he couldn’t descend anymore, the CHP helicopter picked him up and took him to Mercy Mount Shasta.

About three and a half hours later, at 4 p.m., a female climber, who was originally climbing with the climber in the second reported incident, fell about 1,000 feet. The sheriff’s office reported that she lost traction and slid down the mountain. Once again the CHP helicopter was summoned and dropped off by a ranger near the injured climber. She too was airlifted to Mercy Mount Shasta.

The sheriff was unaware of the condition of either of the climbers in those two incidents.

The sheriff’s office directs climbers to consult with US Forest Service personnel before planning to climb the mountain.

Climbers returning from the route are reporting poor conditions after fresh snow on Sunday turned to ice overnight, she said.

The Avalanche Gulch Trail is rated as difficult to climb, according to the Mount Shasta Avalanche Center. It is a “7,000 foot vertical ascent that exposes the climber to steep snow and ice, rockfall, and extreme weather conditions.”

The 10 mile out and back trail begins and ends at the Bunny Flat trailhead.

It takes about 10.5 hours to navigate, according to recreation website AllTrails.com.

“It’s a mountain road,” Kreider said. “There is no marked path.”

Siskiyou County Search and Rescue Services, Forest Service Climbing Rangers, CHP Helicopter Crew and the Mount Shasta Fire Department assisted in the rescues, the sheriff’s office said.

One dead, 4 airlifted to hospital after 3 climbing accidents on Mount Shasta in Siskiyou County

9:00 a.m. Tuesday, June 7, 2022

A woman airlifted to hospital on Monday was the fifth person to fall in the space of five hours while climbing Mount Shasta that day.

A helicopter crew found the woman shortly after she called for help at 4 p.m., the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office said. She reported that she “suffered injuries on the mountain”.

His was the latest of five falls in three climbing incidents – reported between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. – that left one dead and four injured, the sheriff’s office said.

The first climbing party called for help at 8:39 a.m. after three people fell, the sheriff’s office said. A climber was confirmed dead before rescuers could reach him. A second was seriously injured and is in critical condition. Another has multiple injuries, including a broken ankle.

The second fall – reported at 12:31 a.m. – left another climber in critical condition, the sheriff’s office said.

What looked like a solid freeze on Mount Shasta turned out to be very unstable, people recreating Monday said.

“There was a lot of water ice on top of the snowpack,” Wallace Casper of Bozeman, Montana, said in police video. These conditions made it slippery to the point that it was difficult, if not impossible, to stop once you started sliding.

“We advise climbers not to climb to the top for the next two days until the ice softens,” said Courtney Kreider, public information officer at the sheriff’s office.

The sheriff’s office said it plans to release more information once families of the climbers are notified.

Four climbers airlifted to hospitals after 2 crashes on Mount Shasta in Siskiyou County

4 p.m. Monday, June 6, 2022

Siskiyou County first responders worked Monday afternoon to rescue those involved in two separate rock climbing incidents near Avalanche Gulch on Mount Shasta.

Four climbers from two climbing groups were airlifted to nearby hospitals, said Courtney Kreider, public information officer for the sheriff’s office.

First responders don’t have an update on what are “obvious serious injuries” at this time, but an eyewitness told rescuers that a climber had fallen about 1,000 feet, Kreider said.

No one from either side is missing.

“We are still notifying families,” so no names are available at this time, she said.

Clouds roll over Mount Shasta in this photo looking towards Avalanche Gulch in this photo from 2019.

The first incident happened at 8:39 a.m., Kreider said. The second followed soon after at 12:30 p.m. Emergency vehicles left the area at 3:40 p.m.

Climbers returning from the route are reporting poor conditions after fresh snow on Sunday turned to ice overnight, she said.

The Avalanche Gulch Trail is rated as difficult to climb, according to the Mount Shasta Avalanche Center. It is a “7,000 foot vertical ascent that exposes the climber to steep snow and ice, rockfall, and extreme weather conditions.”

The 10 mile out and back trail begins and ends at the Bunny Flat trailhead.

It takes about 10.5 hours to navigate, according to the leisure website AllTrails.com.

“It’s a mountain road,” Kreider said. “There is no marked path.”

The sheriff’s office posted the Facebook At around 2:45 p.m. Monday, he was coordinating rescue operations with other agencies, including Siskiyou County Search and Rescue, the U.S. Forest Service Climbing Rangers, California Highway Patrol Air Operations H-14 Crew and the Service of Mount Shasta fire.

More information is pending, the sheriff’s office said.

Jessica Skropanic is a reporter for the Record Searchlight/USA Today Network. She covers science, arts, social issues and entertainment stories. Follow her on Twitter @RS_JSkropanic and on Facebook. Join Jessica in the Get out! Nor Cal Leisure Facebook group. To support and perpetuate this work, please register today. Thanks.

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