Fall victim with critical injuries in Pine Creek Canyon

Pine Creek Canyon, climbing route in Scheelite Canyon/Pratt’s Crack Gulley

PINE CREEK CANYON, May 8, 2020 – On May 7 around 1:30pm, the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office received notification of a fall victim with critical injuries in Pine Creek Canyon. The victim, one of a party of two from Bishop, CA, was near the top of a climbing route in Scheelite Canyon/Pratt’s Crack Gulley, roughly 500 feet above the canyon floor.

Inyo County Search and Rescue responded, and after confirming the injured party’s location, a team of two ascended a multi-pitch climbing route to reach the injured party from below. Four additional members ascended 5th-class terrain on the southeast side of the same buttress, where they were able to top out and descend to the injured party with additional rescue equipment. The injured climber was stabilized and lowered in several stages to the base of the canyon. An ambulance from Symons Emergency Specialties provided care at the scene.

Inyo County SAR team readying for rescue

As a reminder Inyo SAR and the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office have released an official request for the recreating public to not participate in high-risk outdoor activities. If you get sick, lost or injured and require SAR assistance, the responding team of volunteers will have to break social distancing and the State mandated Stay at Home Order by sharing rescue equipment, radios, and vehicles. You will be potentially taking those rescuers out of service for weeks due to post mission self-monitoring protocols.

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16 Responses to Fall victim with critical injuries in Pine Creek Canyon

  1. Rose May 10, 2020 at 7:44 am #

    The Inyo county notice was posted March 21.

  2. Michael May 9, 2020 at 8:52 am #

    Hope the person recovers, and screw the haters,what if it was YOUR family member .

    • Rose May 10, 2020 at 7:12 am #

      I also hope they recover as I know all too well the pain of losing friends and family to both climbing accidents and disease. Ever since I began mountaineering, I accept that when I climb that it is a selfish endeavor. It is solely for my enjoyment, but I am also brutally aware that an accident would have an enormous impact on those closest to me. I don’t think people are “hating”. They are concerned not only for the climber, but also for the six SAR team members and their families. The intent of the recommendation by Inyo county to refrain from high risk activities such as this was to keep EVERYONE safe during this critical time.

    • Tinner May 10, 2020 at 12:07 pm #

      Michael, I hope he recovers too but to answer your question, “what if this was YOUR family member,” and once on the mend, my family members would be asking “what the f*** were you thinking?”

  3. Scott May 9, 2020 at 6:53 am #

    Gavin Newsom released a list of allowed outdoor activities…and Rock Climbing is on that list. https://covid19.ca.gov/stay-home-except-for-essential-needs/#outdoor

    • Francis May 9, 2020 at 11:24 pm #

      The list you provided was posted by Newsom on May 8. The accident occurred the day before.

      • Scott May 10, 2020 at 6:39 am #

        What does it benefit you to say such a lie? The list was released on April 30th.

        • Francis May 10, 2020 at 1:25 pm #

          It wasn’t a lie. The web page states it was updated May 8. It doesn’t discern if the list was updated or from a previous posting. If the list was published on April 30th, I apologize. However I believe the Inyo Sheriff recommendation still stands. High risk unnecessary activities put more people at risk than just the participants.

    • Tinner May 10, 2020 at 12:27 pm #

      Gavin Newsome lost all credibility he earned at the beginning of this pandemic when he started releasing convicted criminals including rapists and child molesters from jail to only to then fine and arrest sunbathers, surfers and citizens using their public parks.
      COMPLETE buffoonery and asinine, leadership doesn’t get any more *ss backwards than that.

      • Scott May 10, 2020 at 8:51 pm #

        Cool to see that you have an opinion…I hope that you now can consider yourself a difference maker.

      • Pedro May 11, 2020 at 1:23 am #


        Jails are run by counties so any releases there are Sheriff’s decision. Releases from state prisons were made by Judicial Council of the state court. State prison inmates released were within sixty days of the end of their sentence and placed on parole.

        Most anyone arrested for violating stay at home were protestors that repeatedly ignored police orders to disperse. So you got some sources for all those law abiding citizens that got arrested?

        • Oscar B. May 11, 2020 at 10:03 am #

          XXXXXXXXX, (edit SWM)
          you’re kidding, right? Even CNN and LA Times reported on those citations and arrests.

  4. HB man May 8, 2020 at 8:39 pm #

    Glad it was a local not following the guidelines , otherwise it would just be another reason to bash us “low-landers” .

    • Kat May 9, 2020 at 9:10 pm #

      How appropriate of you in this situation of a critically injured person. How insensitive of you.

      • HB man May 10, 2020 at 1:33 am #

        I think that it is highly inappropriate for these inconsiderate ‘climbers” to put the search and rescue personnel at risk, to pull their butts out of the fire when they’re told to abstain from dangerous activities, to keep the interactions to a minimum. How insensitive of THEM. Now they occupy bed space that might be needed for somebody that gets infected with this virus, by no fault of their own .

  5. Eastside Local May 8, 2020 at 4:22 pm #

    Seems odd that these people are climbing and not staying home due to COVID


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