Thursday, September 4, 2008

suicide rescues

The Orange County Register and the Los Angeles Times sites have stories today about last weekend's drama at Suicide Rock.

The Register got hold of Claire McKay's father, and the Times got photos of the rescue from Riverside County Fire Capt. Tim Bingham.

Perhaps the most interesting account published today comes from the Idyllwild Town Crier. News editor J.P. Crumrine spoke with veteran climbing guide Clark Jacobs, the first to reach Trevor Mathews at the base of the cliffs.

From the Crier:

Jacobs, a 55-year-old climbing instructor and guide, has lived in Idyllwild for 25 years and has been climbing for nearly 40 years. He has also narrowly escaped death recently. But Jacobs’ dark encounter was not on local granite.

In 2005, he was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer, kidney failure and type 2 diabetes. He spent 43 days in Eisenhower Medical Center at the end of the year. Two years later, as 2007 was ending, his doctor told him the cancer appeared to be in remission.

Regaining his strength has taken time. Saturday he planned to rest. A sudden urge for a short solo climb sent him to Suicide Rock. He does not encourage anyone else to duplicate his feats. After completing the climb, he hiked back to the base for his pack and phone.

While talking to other hikers, they heard a rockslide. Looking up, Jacobs realized that a person was sliding down Suicide. Trevor landed in the “Buttress of Cracks” area. Jacobs sprinted to the body.

He found a man on his head, helmet smashed, neck bent and turning blue. His first priority was to ensure the individual could breathe. He got him on his back, which opened his airways almost immediately.

Other climbers began to come and offer assistance. “We did what we could,” Jacobs said. “Climbers stand together.”

Jacobs also called the sudden storm that lashed rescuers and injured alike the worst he'd seen in 25 years.

Go here for the rest of the Crier's story.


No comments: