Two Climbers with Broken Legs

May 10, 2003
Suicide Rock

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By Phil Thompson

About 1:30PM a climber came into Idyllwild fire station to report a climbing accident had happened on suicide rock. Because of the location (about 15 minutes from the road) Idyllwild fire dispatched units to the location and at the same time called out R.M.R.U.

RMRU sent a member to the Fire Station to get more information about what may be needed for the rescue. When the RMRU member got to the fire station a miscommunication happened when the RMRU member was told that one climber had suffered a broken ankle and that Idyllwild Fire had the situation handled. At about 3:30 PM RMRU received another call for assistance and was told they had a second climber with a broken leg. RMRU was called out. Ralph Hoetger and I got to the site at about 3:45. As I found that one subject with a compound fracture of the leg had all ready been taken out and the second subject was in a litter being brought out I canceled our RMRU people that where in rout to the location. It should be noted that the climbers where very experienced and after taken the fall on the rock where both climbers suffered broken legs (one was a compound fracture) they where able to self rescue themselves to the base of the rock hundreds of feet below.

RMRU Members Present: Kirk Cloyd, Glenn Henderson, Travis Henderson, Rick Maschek, Dana Potts, Bruce Sanny, Brad Scott, Phil Thompson, Dave Webb