Intense 11-Hour Rescue Operation Saves Climbers from Mount Shasta Avalanche at 12000 Feet

Both climbers sustained non-life-threatening injuries

An intense 11-hour rescue operation resulted in saving the life of 2 mountain climbers, who otherwise could not have survived in that situation. Two daring climbers faced a terrifying ordeal on Mount Shasta in California over the weekend. They were caught in a massive avalanche, authorities revealed.

According to the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office, the climbers were attempting to reach the summit of Mount Shasta on Saturday. However, they encountered a cascade of snow while navigating Avalanche Gulch, causing one of them to tumble roughly 1,000 feet down the mountainside.

California climber rescued

A distress call came in just before 12:30 p.m. from one of the injured climbers, who reported being stranded at an elevation of 12,200 feet. His companion was buried further down the slope.

Rescue efforts faced challenges due to strong winds and poor visibility, hindering helicopter access to the climbers. Despite this setback, the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue Team, along with US Forest Service Climbing Rangers and volunteer mountain guides, initiated a ground-based extraction operation.

After a break in the weather, a helicopter managed to land above the tree line, approximately 6,000 feet below the injured climbers. Rescuers then embarked on a nighttime ascent, successfully carrying both men down the mountain and airlifting them to safety around midnight.

Although both climbers were described as experienced mountaineers intending to snowboard from the summit, they sustained non-life-threatening injuries. One suffered a knee injury, while the other endured a broken femur and a deep crampon puncture wound.

The sheriff's office emphasized that the incident underscores the dangers and unpredictability of Mount Shasta, a peak reaching 13,000 feet. Despite the climbers' expertise, their harrowing experience serves as a reminder that mountain conditions can swiftly escalate, transforming rescue efforts into prolonged and resource-intensive operations.

Authorities did not disclose the identities of the injured climbers.