Search and Rescue Team Operation: Aid to a hiker with altitude sickness

To:       All News Outlets

From:  Jennifer Hansen, Public Information Officer

Date:   July 16, 2013

RE:      Search and Rescue Team Operation: Aid to a hiker with altitude sickness

On the afternoon of Monday, July 16, 2013, at approximately 4:00 pm, Mono County Sheriff’s Dispatch received a call regarding a twelve-year-old hiker, from Beverly Hills, CA, with possible altitude sickness on the Spark Plug Mine trail below White Mountain Peak.

The Mono County Sheriff Search and Rescue (SAR) team, with the assistance of the White Mountain Fire Department, were dispatched to the area. The hiking group was about two hundred yards up the Spark Plug Mine trail. They had hiked about 3.5 miles on the road to the trailhead from White Mountain Ranch on Hwy 6. The group sought shelter from the sun, and to let the ill hiker rest, at a pinon pine above the trail. Once off trail, the hikers were unable to descent down the steep, rocky terrain. The SAR team climbed to the hiker’s location, assessed the patient, who had since recovered, and rigged a lowering system to help get the hikers off the steep terrain. Each hiker was lowered from the slope back to the trailhead. The ill hiker was able to walk to the trailhead and back down to White Mountain Ranch without further assistance.