Earlier this year, CBS News' Carter Evans, along with a camera crew, spent the day with AMRT on a high-line training exercise in Eaton Canyon. Click the image below to watch the segment that aired Friday September 6th on CBS This Morning.
55 images from Sunday's training in Rubio Canyon have been added to the gallery.
This weeks training began early, as early as 4:30am for some. The exercise was designed to simulate the removal of an injured victim from deep within Rubio Canyon. During this scenario, the "victim" was presented with a lower leg fracture and multiple lacerations from a low level fall just above 80' high Thalehaha Falls. This training exercise was conducted as if it was a real operation, with only the training officer and three other members of the team actually aware of the planned exercise for the day, and two of those members were playing the roles of the victims.
Once on scene, rescuers conducted a medical assessment of the victim and began preparing her for packaging in the litter. Once securely in the litter, and with a lowering system set up, extraction began. Five waterfalls, multiple systems and many hours later, the victim was safely out of the canyon.
The call came in just after 8:30pm Monday August 5th for five hikers stranded in Eaton Canyon. AMRT responded, sending a crew to the Pinecrest entry gate. Once on site, team members were able to locate the victims, stuck on a ridge high above canyon bottom. It was determined the best option would be to approach the victims from above.
After making their way up the mountain to a location above the victims, rescuers then had to identify a route that would allow them to safely get closer, closing the more than 600 foot distance to the victims below. Once at a secure location on the mountain, a rescuer was lowered approximately 200 feet down to the stranded hikers, extracting the first of five individuals. After the first evolution, it was determined that two hikers could be safely extracted simultaneously. Two more evolutions were performed, and all five hikers were safely in the hands of the Altadena Mountain Rescue Team. The operation concluded at approximately 2:15am Tuesday.
Below is an excerpt from an article that appeared on L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky's website on May 2nd about the dangers of Eaton Canyon and the five fatalities that have occurred there in the last two years. To read the full article, click on the link at the bottom of this post.
Five people have died in the upper raches of Eaton Canyon in the past two years, including this man in 2011.
It was late in the day when several twentysomething hikers happened upon veteran Los Angeles County rescuer Richard De Leon. Next to him was another young man, whose broken body had just been retrieved from the rocky floor of Eaton Canyon.
“Where you coming from?” De Leon asked the group, knowing all too well the answer.
“The second falls,” they confirmed. “But we’re fine.”
De Leon motioned to the man now being photographed by coroner’s officials. “So was he about an hour ago.”
The hikers assured De Leon they weren’t like that guy. “We know what we’re doing,” they insisted.
“So did he,” the rescuer said, hoping to drive home his point but knowing that he might as well have been lecturing the rocks.
The call came in just after 12:30pm for a hiker stuck on a ridge above the first waterfall in Eaton Canyon. Team members deployed to Eaton Canyon and located the victim, on the ridgeline above canyon bottom where so many hikers end up.
The individuals position on the ridge did not require a highly technical rescue, instead, team members were able to set a nummber of hand lines, allowing them to gain access to the victim. Once at the victims location he was placed in a harness and secured to a hand line. Once safely secured, the process of getting down the ridge to canyon bottom began. By 4:30pm the victim was safely down from the ridge and the team was back at headquarters.