Leader Fall injury - Tourist Trap

(05/05/2001)

From the NPS Morning Report:

01-301 - Pinnacles NM (CA) - Rescue

Ken Hott, 31, of Fairfax, California, fell about 25 feet while climbing near the Rat Race route in the Tourist Trap climbing area on Saturday, May 5th. Hott struck the back of his head, knocking himself unconscious. During the fall, he became entangled in excess rope, so he also sustained severe rope burns to the back of both legs.

Ranger Neal Labrie climbed about 30 feet to Hott's position on an exposed ledge. Hott had by that time regained consciousness, but was disoriented. After treating Hott's injuries, Labrie performed a solo pick-off to lower him to waiting paramedics and air transport to San Jose Valley Medical Center, where he was treated and released.

Assistance was provided by CDF, American Medical Response and Calstar II Air Ambulance. This was the second technical rescue in a week and the second major climbing accident in the Tourist Trap area in the past year.
[Neal Labrie, DR, PINN, 6/18]

Additional details from Neal Labrie:

There was currently someone climbing Rat Race so he decided to try and lead an unamed/unclarified route up the offset crack to the right. [possibly "Happily Married Bachelor"] Again, cams blew out of the rock when he fell. Luckily for him, a tree that grows mid-wall in that crack slowed his decent. Along with getting caught up in a lot of excess rope on the way down, those two things probably saved his life, as the middle ledge is where he hit next.