SUBLETTE COUNTY, WYO – TipTop Search and Rescue got busy over the weekend, receiving a callout late Saturday night to a report of climbers stranded in the Wind River Range.
Sublette County Sheriff’s Office dispatch took the call at about midnight on Saturday, September 1, that a couple of climbers that were stranded on the northwest face of Wolf’s Head Peak in the Cirque of the Towers. The climbers were stuck on the mountain just short of 12,200 feet.
Their rappelling rope had become wedged in the rocks after earlier climbing the eastside route. The climbers reported they had supplies to spend the night on the three-foot ledge they were on, but would need assistance in the morning.
First light Sunday morning, September 2, Tip Top Search and Rescue sent a short haul team to the area. With the use of the helicopter, arrangements were made to make a drop of additional rappel rope, a team radio, water, and extra food as the stranded male was a Type 1 diabetic. The two felt they were in good enough condition to self-evacuate with the supplies given. TTSAR’s short haul team then landed in a nearby meadow to wait and monitor their decent in case they needed further assistance.
Over the next couple of hours, the two had become disoriented and struggled to continue the self-evacuation. They had lost a bag with personal gear and medical supplies to care for the male’s diabetic needs. The male’s medical condition was beginning to worsen and his climbing partner knew they needed help.
The female party was able to communicate with the awaiting search and rescue team and plans were made for an extraction site. The short haul team rigged the helicopter and, despite swirling winds on the cliff face, successfully brought both members off the mountain to the meadow below via short haul.
The helicopter then flew all parties to the Pinedale Ralph Wenz Airport where Sublette EMS was waiting to evaluate both climbers. The male was taken to the Pinedale Medical Clinic for further care.
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