Injured climber lowered by other climber

June 13, 1987
Tahquitz Rock

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By Eric Townsend

Calls for help from 400 feet up on the side of Lilly Rock [Tahquitz Rock] brought the Sheriff to investigate and soon after, a call to RMRU. A climber, Tony Twete, had fallen on the "Whodunit" route and had sustained a broken leg and elbow. It's bad enough being 400 feet up the side of a sheer cliff, but with a broken leg and arm, that's serious!

Even with the aid of a Landells Aviation Helicopter, we expected a lengthy, perhaps all night mission to get the climber safely lowered without further injury. Fortunately, a very sturdy climber, who simply told us his name was Tom, hoisted Tony on his back and rappelled the 400 feet down to the base of the rock. A few minutes later, RMRU members arrived by helicopter to administer first aid and load Tony into the helicopter in the last few minutes of daylight.

RMRU members carries the litter oer and passed the injured climber Tony Twete into the back, where Joe Erickson secure the litter down, and then all were flown out to Idyllwild. (photo by Jim Fairchild)

NEW HElISPOT - Mountain Pilot Pete Gillies from Western Helicopters brings his Hughes 500C helicopter into position near the base of Tahquitz Rock, with the toes of the runners stuck in the mountainside. (photo by Jim Fairchild)

Responding team members - Larry Carter, Kevin Walker, Joe Erickson, Jim Fairchild, Glenn Henderson, Bernie McIlvoy, Henry Negrete, Ron Pierson, Eric Townsend, Rick Pohlers, Bud White, and Walt Walker.