A mountain guide fell more than 300 meters to her death in an accident in which two others were injured.
Jillian Elizabeth Webster, 32, was helping a couple reach the top of Mount Shasta in California on Monday when one of the hikers slipped.
The fall resulted in two others also sinking, falling 1,500 to 2,500 feet down snow and ice, according to the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Department.
“They were connected,” said Courtney Kreider, a department spokeswoman.
The fall occurred around 8:30 a.m. when Webster’s group was over Helen Lake, near snow in an area called Avalanche Gulch.
“The change from really cold to really warm is what makes it dangerous,” says Kreider.
“We had snow over the weekend, just a little bit of snow, and it created this thin layer of ice in Avalanche Gulch, and when it gets warmer that thin layer of ice flakes off, so you need really good climbing gear – climbing shoes that really dig into the ice be able.”
After the fall, a nurse in the area tried to administer first aid to Webster, who was unresponsive.
She was flown to Mercy Mount Shasta where she was pronounced dead.
A male climber in her group suffered head injuries and a compound broken leg, Kreider said. He has since been discharged from Mercy Medical Center Redding.
His girlfriend is observed in the same hospital with a lower leg injury.
“It was just a perfect storm of bad conditions, people on the mountain and inexperience,” Nick Meyers, the US Forest Service’s lead climbing ranger, told the San Francisco Chronicle.
“Even an absolute professional would have a hard time stopping or arresting himself in such conditions.”
On the same day, another male climber on Avalanche Gulch slipped and fell 1,000 feet, but is expected to survive.
His group continued to climb the mountain until a female climber slipped and also fell 1,000 feet.
“It took a couple of hours to find her,” Kreider said. “They found her just after 6 p.m. and flew her to a hospital.”
Climbers are cautioned to consult with the US Forest Service before hiking the mountain.
“We work in an environment where things happen,” said climbing guide David Cressman. “Climbing and weather can change in a matter of hours.”
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5538876/mount-shasta-hiker-falling-death-california-accident/ Mountain guide, 32, killed after hiker slipped and dragged three people tied to each other down 2,500ft of ice