Send us a suggestion!

Successful rescue in Lower Jump

Discussion in 'Accidents and Near Misses' started by delenius, Jul 28, 2014.

  1. delenius

    delenius

    Messages:
    56
    Likes:
    26
    Spent the weekend canyoneering in the Sierras again, and got to experience my first Search and Rescue operation (spoiler alert: everything ended well). Me, Brian Swanson, and Bronic Bednarek did Lower Jump in the North Fork of King's River (we did Upper Jump the day before and had a blast!).

    About 2h into the canyon, Brian breaks his ankle on a slide into a pool. Bronic and I did the slide without incident, but it was a rather fast and bumpy ride. I got some nice air on a small ledge half way down. The same ledge that Brian jammed his foot straight into...

    Fortunately, Brian had an emergency SOS transceiver, which we immediately activated, since there was no way he could move, or we could carry him, either up or down the very technical terrain in the canyon. Bronic went ahead to finish the canyon solo(!) and get out and get help, in case the transceiver didn't work. I stayed with Brian. Turns out he's a great guy to spend a day in a canyon with, and we kept our spirits up :)

    3.5h later, a Fresno Sheriff's department helicopter shows up. They fly around to survey our location and we were able to communicate that we needed help. We later found out that they took video and photos and forwarded them to the SAR team. A while later, a NFS ranger shows up. He had found a dry but rather dangerous way down to us. He stayed with us and coordinated the rescue. A little later, a CHP airlift helicopter arrives. They fly deep into the narrow canyon and lift out Brian. It was very impressive to see. I hiked out with the ranger, and Bronic made it out the bottom. He almost got stuck himself several times, and had quite an adventure, about 9h to the bottom from the incident location.

    I made a map of the route that we hiked out and the spot of the incident. http://www.trimbleoutdoors.com/View...tLinkKey=5585d933-47ec-47b3-9799-40f380e22e10

    In hindsight, it would have been better for me to go scout out the exit on the side, and climb out to get help. About 2h and not very dangerous, as opposed to the all day solo descent.

    Lessons learned: Bring an emergency transponder. Don't do questionable slides in remote locations. Check for exits on the sides. It would also have been nice to have at least 4 people: One to stay with the victim, and two to go for help.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2014
  2. Ram

    Ram

    Messages:
    2,296
    Likes:
    4,088
    Glad it worked out. Yeah 4 folks nice for that. Thanks for the report. Map didn't work for me?
  3. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Is that an X slot?

    Messages:
    1,288
    Likes:
    989
    Take out the "Facebook", and just cut/paste the link into a browser.

    Great job to all, and way to go on the solo "cool head" descent. As it is with "lessons learned", keep in mind: you could have checked for exits, gave one a try, then had another injury. Ya never know. ;-)
  4. delenius

    delenius

    Messages:
    56
    Likes:
    26
    The link should be fixed.
  5. Stevee B

    Stevee B

    Messages:
    91
    Likes:
    73
    Daniel, can you recall where this went down? Safe to assume it wasn't the relatively horizontal off the small drop into the right pool, nor the 15' slide to the 15' drop, correct?
  6. delenius

    delenius

    Messages:
    56
    Likes:
    26
    Stevee, it was at the point marked "Slide" on my map above. It is a fairly long (30'?) and not that steep slide that continues into a pool. It is RDC and you can also walk down next to it.
  7. Stevee B

    Stevee B

    Messages:
    91
    Likes:
    73
    Glad you guys made it out safe and sound! I am curious, did you guys start doing this slide based on beta (either written or verbal), or your personal assessment and selection of the route? I'd love to share some experience if interested, but don't mean to encroach on your experience.

    I know some people feel very strongly that there is no right way to do LJT, but I feel like there are some pretty useful tips for safe passage through this canyon that has probably broken nearly a dozen bones that I am aware of.

    Is there a beta resource out there besides Chris Brennan's write-up?
  8. delenius

    delenius

    Messages:
    56
    Likes:
    26
    We did the slide based on our own assessment. I did it safely first, though it was faster and bumpier than I expected. Then the other two guys did it. There is beta on ropewiki:

    http://ropewiki.com/index.php/Jump_Trip_(Lower)

    The "slide" is marked as such on the map there, but I didn't know that until later.

    I would love to do LJT with someone who knows the "system" at some point... But I thought we were being pretty careful. We lowered people on meat anchors on jumps where we couldn't see the bottom, etc. The injury seemed very improbable at this point. It was just a freak accident.

    Are these "useful tips" written down anywhere?
  9. ratagonia

    ratagonia

    Messages:
    4,413
    Likes:
    5,356
    Location:
    Mount Carmel, Utah
    "improbable"?



    Slides are slides are slides are inherently dangerous. Even the best, doing the same slide hundreds of times, break bones on them.

    There are 'freak accidents', but this was not a freak accident.

    Tom :moses:
  10. delenius

    delenius

    Messages:
    56
    Likes:
    26
    Ok Tom :)
    Ram likes this.
  11. Stevee B

    Stevee B

    Messages:
    91
    Likes:
    73
    That's sort of what I was asking about re: beta other than Brennan's. My beta is mostly in my head and isn't written down more out of sloth than anything.
    I also don't remember a lot of it until I'm standing there.

    Here are the two slides that I personally enjoy in LJT:
    1. Right after the "Glory Hole" (the 8' deep body-sized tube in the granite) where the canyon turns left, there is a relatively shallow sloped wet slide. You can scramble down LDC right to scout the pool entry below. This is important as there are two potholes below with a rock rib separating them. You don't want to land on that rock rib. We scout to sight the rib, then scramble back up and cut loose. Followed closely after by the recirculating "washing machine" (harmless but fun whirlpool).
    2. Can't remember the pioneer's name for this one, but it's the wet slide that starts from the huge boulder and tree, slides down about 15' and then drops off into space the last 15' into a large pool. Bigger than it looks. Usually repeat this one a half dozen times, big bang for the buck.
    On my first couple trips through with the first descensionist guys who had done it dozens of times, they flagged all the other obvious slides with the injury history of each, and a few dry slides with no injury history but a rep for being either "meh" or with a low fun/risk ratio. I've done a few of them on occasion but in recent years I tend to stick with the good ones. There's enough fun stuff there to keep me entertained, and the place does have teeth.
  12. delenius

    delenius

    Messages:
    56
    Likes:
    26
    We saw (1) and didn't do it because it looked like there was some risk of landing on that rock rib, and there seemed to be some sharp edges on the ride. Didn't get to (2). So ours was one of the "bad" ones I guess. It was very fun for me, but obviously not worth it in hindsight...
  13. Stevee B

    Stevee B

    Messages:
    91
    Likes:
    73
    Good 'nuff! If it's fun, it's fun!

    There is a pretty long injury list for the "good" ones too, to be fair. Risk vs. fun ratio I suppose, different for everyone. The 50' "entrance exam" jump has broken a leg, at least one back, who knows what else. And that's many people's favorite spot in the canyon. This year will be my 10th or 11th visit, and every year I say I'm going to rap it instead, can't handle the impact. I haven't rapped it yet.

    EDIT: No sharp edges on that Slide 1, btw, surprisingly smooth.
    Ram likes this.
  14. delenius

    delenius

    Messages:
    56
    Likes:
    26
    I did not do the entrance exam, 30' or so is plenty for me. One person in our group did.
    Ram and ratagonia like this.
  15. Shane

    Shane

    Messages:
    82
    Likes:
    31
    Location:
    Curry Village, California
    When I got the text the next day about Brian I thought maybe you guys activated the beacon for another party. Reason being, when we did Lower the day before, there were many groups in there who seemed to be lacking in experience. When suiting up in view of the 50'er, I saw 2 people basically fall off the ledge instead of jump out. My heart skipped a beat thinking they hit rock at the bottom. I think Nicolas saw the whole thing and said they came within a foot of hitting rock.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014
  16. Ram

    Ram

    Messages:
    2,296
    Likes:
    4,088
    :jawdrop::jawdrop::jawdrop::jawdrop::jawdrop::jawdrop::jawdrop::jawdrop::jawdrop::jawdrop::jawdrop:

    OMG!! Sick!

    As to the entrance jump? I don't mind the occasional 50 footer....or at least I used to NOT mind the 50 footer, but to do it right as the opening act? I think I would prefer to work my way to that during the day. I be rapping that one. I have a friend. That person has cared for many in wheel chairs, some put there from jumping. I watch this person nearly get sick, turning away as someone is about to jump. This person likely has it right...still a carefully considered static (only kind I do-static) performed well, does give me joy

    Oh and anything over 40 feet hurts, even when I get it right. Me anyway. Careful out there.
  17. AW~

    AW~

    Messages:
    282
    Likes:
    83
    'We' only want to close Eaton to the ones getting 'injured'...but NF Kings river, where we have several violations of park regulations as it is......we shall defend all of this to the death? Or are we calling for the NF Kings river to be closed? Thanks for the fake sincerity again.

    As far as slides, yeah anything can result in an injury repeated enough times. But at the same time, Im thinking its not that said person has repeated sliding too many times. I could be wrong obviously....not everyone is a meetup canyoneer or lives in the 808 area code.
  18. delenius

    delenius

    Messages:
    56
    Likes:
    26
    I have no idea what the point was here, but I am curious what "park regulations" you think were violated. BTW it's National Forest, not a "park". You'd think the ranger would have told us if we'd done anything prohibited. Instead, he and the CHP officer both seemed pretty excited about what we were doing...
    ratagonia likes this.
  19. AW~

    AW~

    Messages:
    282
    Likes:
    83
    I stand corrected that the NF of Kings river is just in a regular forest area. My larger point is the double standard in assessing what is risky and what is not.
  20. gajslk

    gajslk

    Messages:
    481
    Likes:
    370
    You made a point? I completely missed it. Even after rereading your posts, I don't see one. Care to clarify?

    Gordon
Similar Threads: Successful rescue
Forum Title Date
Accidents and Near Misses Ellison's Cave - (Successful) 22 hour Rescue Jun 3, 2013
Tech Tips and Gear The Wanchor Canyon Test- Successful Oct 2, 2016
General Discussion Upgrade to CanyonCollective.com Successful! Apr 24, 2014
Accidents and Near Misses Rescue in Egypt 1 Oct 24, 2018
Accidents and Near Misses Rescue in Dothraki Canyon: October 20, 2018 Oct 21, 2018
Accidents and Near Misses Two Rescues in Zion NP Jul 31, 2018