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Busy Sunday: Authorities Respond to Two Search and Rescue Calls

MOUNTAIN AREA — Pandemic or not, it was a busy afternoon Sunday in the high country for Madera County first responders.

The activity started around 4 p.m. when MCSO’s Dispatch Center received a call regarding a 35-year-old woman from Colorado who was involved in a climbing accident on the southern face of Shuteye Peak.

She reportedly had been climbing with a partner when she fell about 30 feet.

Fortunately, her climbing partner had cell service and was able to call 911 and request assistance.

Units responded from the Sheriff’s Office, Search and Rescue, Forest Service, California Highway Patrol, Sierra Ambulance, CAL Fire and Madera County Fire and a coordinated rescue occurred.

A Search and Rescue volunteer eventually joined up with Central Division CHP’s helicopter, H40, and performed a hoist rescue.

Meanwhile, Sheriff’s deputies, Search and Rescue volunteers, USFS Fire and Law Enforcement, Sierra Ambulance, CAL Fire and Madera County Fire responded to the trail head of Shuteye Pass to start the hike toward the subject in case the hoist rescue could not be attempted.

When crews got to the trail head, they found the road to access the injured climber was blocked by down trees and had to begin cutting them out of the way to get closer to the patient.

H40 along with the Search and Rescue volunteer was able to hoist the patient out and she was transported to Community Regional Medical Center with major injuries.

Her climbing partner was met by the ground team who hiked back out with him.

During this incident, Sheriff’s Dispatch also got a report of subjects who were stuck in the snow further up Mammoth Pool Road. Those subjects were able to self-rescue while waiting for Search and Rescue members to respond to them.

“Especially now, we ask if you choose to go to the back country, please go prepared and make safety your plan,” said an MCSO Facebook post detailing the Sunday rescue, which required the effort of 25 rescuers and took 3 hours.

“We would also like to thank all of our allied agencies,” the MCSO social media post also said. “Team work makes operations like this successful.”

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Sierra News Online

Sierra News Online