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Rescue on Saddleback?

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  • Rescue on Saddleback?

    Got wind of a rescue on SB in the past few days but little detail. Said hiker fell from a cliff and hurt leg- long rescue operation. Anyone have more than the AP account, which was sparse?

  • #2
    Well, technically rescue from Basin, but he fell down a 10' ledge on Saddleback. I can't go into any more details, but there's some photo video on my FB page at: https://www.facebook.com/kevin.mudrat.mackenzie .
    May your ambition for the goal allow you to be a student of the journey.

    www.adirondackmountaineering.com

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    • #3
      https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2...accidents.html

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      • #4
        Thanks- quite the rescue. Much praise to those who took part....this guy is lucky there are such dedicated and skilled people around there to help.

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        • #5
          I am dying to know more. Like why would you move toward Basin if you fell on Saddleback? I know that cliff looks hard to normal ADKers but to real good mountaineers I don't think it would be hard. They could climb Saddle back, repel down to you, put you in a litter, hall you back up and take you down to John's brook lodge.

          Looking at Mudrat's face book page shows him on a snow mobile so maybe it is faster to ride snow mobiles all the way on lake road and the Ausable lakes and rivers to the base of Basin and then up from there.

          There is only one word for this and that is "EPIC"!
          Leave No Trace! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXO1uY0MvmQ
          ThereAndBack http://www.hikesafe.com/

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          • #6
            In that situation I would have moved "toward Basin" on the assumption that the evacuation would be down Chicken Coop Brook to the Phelps Trail at Bushnell Falls. That is how the subject was eventually evacuated. Why the party snowmobiled to the Upper Lake and then went in over Basin is still not clear to me.

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            • #7
              "On Feb. 3 at 12:08 p.m., DEC Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from Essex County 911 ...
              ...
              The subjects were located at about 4:45 a.m. on Feb. 4, and Rangers provided shelter and food and stabilized the injury.
              ...
              The subject was transferred to an ambulance and transported to a local hospital at 1 a.m. on Feb. 5
              "

              Wow!
              So they spent the first night out there on their own.
              This is a reason you need some warm clothing to survive a night in a weather captured on Kevin's Facebook page.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Bunchberry View Post
                I know that cliff looks hard to normal ADKers but to real good mountaineers I don't think it would be hard. They could climb Saddle back, repel down to you, put you in a litter, hall you back up and take you down to John's brook lodge.
                By that logic there are a ton of 12-year old kids who are real good mountaineers.

                I doubt it was so much of an issue of Saddleback's ledges looking difficult as much as there was probably a conscientious decision to keep the victim safe. IMO Saddleback is easier to ascend than Basin's north side, and I think a lot of people would agree with that. That being said, your first move when treating an injured person in a remote area to to stabilize them, which may include moving them to a sheltered area. The base of Saddleback's ledges is exposed and these folks were already dealing with high winds and challenging winter conditions. Moving the injured person towards the slightly more protected col between the the base of Saddleback and Basin's north eastern shoulder would only involve a movement of a hundred feet or so and would go a long ways towards preventing further issues.

                Then again, I could be completely wrong about their intentions. I'm sure more info will come out soon.

                My mind was wandering like the wild geese in the west.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by FlyFishingandBeer View Post

                  By that logic there are a ton of 12-year old kids who are real good mountaineers.
                  I was talking about under winter conditions caked in ice....
                  Leave No Trace! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXO1uY0MvmQ
                  ThereAndBack http://www.hikesafe.com/

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by tgoodwin View Post
                    In that situation I would have moved "toward Basin" on the assumption that the evacuation would be down Chicken Coop Brook to the Phelps Trail at Bushnell Falls. That is how the subject was eventually evacuated. Why the party snowmobiled to the Upper Lake and then went in over Basin is still not clear to me.
                    Maybe a quicker approach to go up to former SnoBird and up Basin than deal with Shorey after snomo in to BF??

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                    • #11
                      Mudrat has this article linked on his FB page, plus a great video he shot!

                      https://www.adirondackexplorer.org/s...dleback-rescue

                      To bore you with my own story, in Jan 2010, a group of us that included Rick B summited Haystack. He and the strongest of our group (Steve) were able to get Basin and then go up the Saddleback Cliffs, while some of our party did Basin, then turned around. Myself and two others continued to the base of the cliffs at nearly 4PM in the afternoon, with temperatures dropping. We saw Rick and Steve's tracks headed up there, but the thought of messing with crampons and whatnot caused me to vote for a CCB bailout. Rick and our friend Steve checked off Saddleback that day, beat us back to Grace Camp by a wide margin... CCB bushwhack took us hours in the cold, and those at Grace were wondering what happened to us.

                      This article brings back clear images of what those volunteers must've done to lower the litter and drag it out that CCB route!

                      Chuck
                      #armchairhiker
                      46/46 overall & W46 on Feb 22, 2016

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                      • Bunchberry
                        Bunchberry commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Thanks for your story

                      • rbalbs
                        rbalbs commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Hi Chuck. I remember hearing about your adventures going down CCB. Those were deep powder conditions that day...just for comparison though I went up and down CCB a week before this rescue and it was an easy frozen pathway. From Basin summit to John's Brook crossing only took 70 minutes. So it seems time and energy expenditure is very condition dependent. Any way you look at it though bringing an injured hiker down that route is a whole different level and the rescuers are big time heroes!

                    • #12
                      Has this fall actually happened at The Saddleback Cliffs or somewhere else?

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                      • #13
                        Like Yury said, where exactly did this accident occur? I assume during the descent of one of Saddleback's south-facing ledges ('cliff')?


                        I'm curious to know why the so-called 'winter route' wasn't employed (to bypass the 'cliff'). I realize hauling anything uphill is a bear (especially a sled loaded with an injured hiker) but beyond the summit it's (comparatively) clear sailing down the broken-out Range and Orebed Brook Trails. I imagine the foul weather, and hauling the sled past the winter route's chimney section (a daunting exercise in ropes, pulleys, and elbow-grease) played a role in the decision to descend via Chicken Coop Brook.



                        Click for full-sized version.
                        Looking for Views!

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                        • DLhiker
                          DLhiker commented
                          Editing a comment
                          I'm unfamiliar with the 'winter route'. My time one time on the Saddleback south ledges in the winter was a near miss experience. I've advised many to avoid that area in winter unless they are ready for technical climbing.

                        • Trail Boss
                          Trail Boss commented
                          Editing a comment
                          It's an *off-trail* route so forum rules disallow me from posting pictures of it, describing it in precise detail, or attaching GPS tracks (although a GPS track wouldn't be helpful in this case).

                          All I can share here publicly is that the 'winter-route' avoids all areas of open rock. It seeks the path of least resistance and is actually better in winter conditions than in summer (because of the snow pack).

                          It almost succeeds in being a safe, exposure-free, non-technical route if it were not for the very last section at the top. There it encounters a short, near-vertical section of rock with, what can be best described as, a 'chimney'. Sometimes winter conditions make this section less of a hurdle due to accumulated ice and snow. Other times you need crampons and an ice axe to scale it.

                          On one occasion, Neil and I employed some basic rock-climbing techniques to scale it. Once past this problematic section, you're back on-trail and steps away from Saddleback's summit.

                          There is also a way to *bypass* the chimney and I call it the 'Chimney Bypass Route'. Necessity is the mother of invention and that's precisely what happened to Pathgrinder and I one snowy day in February.

                          http://www.adkhighpeaks.com/forums/f...sin-2013-02-26

                          We couldn't safely descend via the marked path so we went down as far as we could (along a route with many good handholds) and then *traversed the face* (upwards) to get to the *base* of the chimney. From there it was a soft ride down through deep snow along the winter-route. The Chimney Bypass is circuitous but requires no special techniques or equipment beyond basic traction aids (Kahtoola Microspikes or Hillsound Trail Crampons).

                          Knowing all these options exist and, more importantly, having experienced them, I no longer perceive this area to be a potential roadblock. There are relatively safe, non-technical ways around its gnarly bits.

                        • DLhiker
                          DLhiker commented
                          Editing a comment
                          I get it. thanks for the explanation
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