Tahquitz Rock Injury

September 5, 2016
Tahquitz Rock Idyllwild

Written by Lee Arnson

This happened to be one of those rare occasions when the Team was called out to 2 separate rescues at the same time, one was at the Palm Springs Tram, while the other was for a rescue on Tahquitz Rock in Idyllwild. Since I live in Idyllwild, I opted for the Tahquitz rescue.

Upon arriving at Humber Park at 8:00 p.m., I met with the Idyllwild Fire Chief who briefed me on the situation. They had received a 911 call from somewhere on the rock earlier in the day from a climber who had taken a short fall but had supposedly broken her ankle and was unable to get down on her own. The problem they were being faced with was that no one knew where she was on the rock or what route she was on when she fell. Members of Idyllwild Fire and Cal Fire were in the field trying to locate the subject, but time kept ticking by.

I decided to get my gear and head up the climbers trail, and eventually I met up with a Cal Fire crew that was bringing up a litter and wheel in the hopes of finding our subject. The climbers trail to Lunch Rock is ridiculously steep, and it was slow going for the Cal Fire crew in their full turnouts, plus they had the wheel attached to the litter and were rolling it up the trail.

Just before we got to Lunch Rock, we heard on the radio that our subject had been found on the South Side of Tahquitz at the base of a very famous climb called the "Open Book". She did not actually break her ankle but had sprained it to the point she could not put any weight on it. Well by this time, there was at least 10 firefighters and myself on scene, so we all helped her take one small step at a time to the Ernie Maxwell Trail, and finally back to Humber Park and an awaiting ambulance.

RMRU Members Involved: Lee Arnson.