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Yosemite climber falls: 26-year old falls 30 feet, bold chopper team rescues him

Yosemite climber falls: 26-year old falls 30 feet, bold chopper rescue ensues
Yosemite climber falls: 26-year old falls 30 feet, bold chopper rescue ensues
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The Yosemite climber who fell 30 feet down Yosemite’s Cathedral range on Sunday before noon was a 26-year-old man from Palo Alto in California. After his fall, the Yosemite rock climber was rescued by a helicopter and a pair of Yosemite Search and Rescue specialists who attended to the injured man while battling strong winds. He was then flown by the chopper to the park's floor at El Capitan Meadow, reports the Associated Press on April 22.

Once the helicopter had landed at El Capitan Meadow, a medivac helicopter was able to take the injured climber to a hospital in Modesto. According to one of the two rescue members who were dropped down from the helicopter to the climber on Yosemite’s Cathedral range, the pair of rescuers were able to secure the man in an air splint and then bring him up into the helicopter.

The 26-year-old was climbing on Sunday morning with a partner at about 500 feet on Yosemite’s Cathedral range when he fell 30 feet onto a rock bench. According to the Los Angeles Times, previous reports that the climber had been about 1,000 feet above the valley floor were corrected to 500 feet.

One of the two rescuers reported that during the helicopter operation, strong winds were blowing in Yosemite Valley and that the team was fortunate to be able to battle the strong winds and transport the climber via airlift. Without the helicopter rescue, the injured climber – who was in excruciating pain – would have had to be lowered down the mountain's craggy slope by foot.

CHP officer and paramedic Andrea Brown, who helped pull the climber into the chopper and who treated him, said that the 26-year-old was wide awake and that he gave her “a thumbs up” that he was OK. The climber had sustained significant back trauma and was unable to walk after his 30-foot fall from the Higher Cathedral Spire on the south end of the valley. "He had a pretty decent ledge that he landed on, but there was a lot of vertical rock around him, which made it incredibly difficulty to fly in," she said.

After the Yosemite climber fell on Sunday, Officer Johnny Fisher of the California Highway Patrol stated that this was the second helicopter rescue at Yosemite Park in a one-week period. Last week, a hiker had to be evacuated from Tenaya Creek after she had hurt her back while hiking in rough terrain.