Climber suffers Possible Spinal Injury at ‘The Tooth’ near Snoqualmie Pass, Guardian 2 Critical in Saving Man’s Life

King County Search and Rescue, including teams from Seattle Mountain Rescue, responded to Snoqualmie Pass Monday evening,The Tooth June 20, 2016 after receiving calls for a climber with serious injuries.

KCSAR Volunteer PIO Alan LaBissoniere said the male rock climber fell after climbing ‘The Tooth’ at Snoqualmie Pass. The Tooth is a popular climbing peak located off the Source Lake Trail, with a 400 foot south face rock climb that offers panoramic views.

Apparently the man fell about 15-20 feet straight down while he and a climbing partner were descending the area. LaBissoniere said after the initial fall the man then tumbled 40 feet down a rock field and then another 20 feet down a snow field and into a tree.

According to the KCSO, the injured man in his 60’s was climbing the mountain with his girlfriend and had just removed some of his safety gear, including his helmet, before the fall. Another group of climbers witnessed the accident and were able to call 911.

It was reported that in addition to having difficulty breathing and not being able to feel his hands and feet, the man also suffered head, back, neck and leg wounds. LaBissoniere said the man may have possibly suffered spinal cord injury.

King County Sheriff’s Office Guardian 2 helicopter was called in to hoist the man out of Source Lake. He was then airlifted to Harborview Medical Center.  KCSO reported that Tuesday morning, June 21st, that the man is in critical condition.

According to KCSO, based on the extent injuries, the weather that moved into the area just after the helicopter rescue that would have exposed the victim and crews to possible lightning strikes, the distance the victim was from the trailhead and the advanced medical assistance required, had Guardian 2 not been available, medics and rescue volunteers feel the man may not have survived his injuries.

King County Sheriff’s Office Air Support posted a video of the June 20th rescue hoist:



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