1 killed and 4 injured in Mount Shasta climbing accidents on Monday


A mountaineering guide died and four people were injured Monday in three separate crashes in hazardous conditions at Avalanche Gulch on Mount Shasta, California’s fifth-tallest mountain, 275 miles north of San Francisco, officials said. responsible.

Guide, 32, Jillian Elizabeth Webster of Redmond, Oregon, was leading a man and woman over Lake Helen to the summit on Monday morning when one of the climbers slipped, causing all three to fall 1,500 to 2,500 vertical feet, Courtney Kreider, spokeswoman for the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office, said.

“They were tied together,” Kreider said.

The incident was reported at 8:35 a.m. and a rescue team found the man in critical condition with head trauma and an open fracture in his lower leg, the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

Webster was unresponsive after the fall, the sheriff’s office said. A nurse climbing the mountain performed CPR. A CHP helicopter transported Webster to Mercy Mount Shasta where she was later pronounced dead, the sheriff’s office said.

The man and woman were also taken to local hospitals and are under observation and recovering.

In the second incident, a male climber who was part of a group was injured after falling approximately 1,000 vertical feet at around 12:31 p.m. A rescue team responded to the scene and airlifted the man to the hospital; his recovery status is unknown, the sheriff’s office said.

Later that day at 4 p.m., a climber who was part of the same group lost traction and fell about 1,000 vertical feet, Kreider said.

“It took a few hours to locate her,” she said. “They located her shortly after 6 p.m. and airlifted her to hospital.”

Mount Shasta rises 14,180 feet above sea level in the Cascade Range and is generally snow-capped year-round. There are several non-technical routes to and from the summit, and Avalanche Gulch is the most popular and offers the easiest access, the US Forest Service said.

Spring, when temperatures start to warm up, is a popular time to climb Mount Shasta, but Kreider said conditions were treacherous on Monday after cold weekend weather delivered fresh snow.

“What makes it dangerous right now is the shift from very cold to very hot,” she said. “We had snow this weekend, just a bit of snow, and it created this thin layer of ice at Avalanche Gulch, and when it’s warm, that thin layer of ice breaks off, so you have to have a very good climbing gear – climbing shoes that can really sink into the ice.

She added: “We will have 20 rescues in a spring and summer climbing season, but it is abnormal for us to get so many in a single day. Rangers helped several others on Monday who had afraid to go down alone.”

The sheriff’s office is asking people to avoid climbing the mountain for the next three days until conditions improve.

This is a developing story and will be updated as details are released.


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