99-77 - Pinnacles NM (CA) - Rescue
Rangers noted a vehicle in the Chaparral parking lot past closing
hours on the evening of March 8th. Park raptor monitor Monique
Imberski reported having seen two climbers on the Machete Ridge
climbing route that day; rangers Robert Baker and Carl Brenner soon
located the young couple on the face of the ridge. They had
continued their climb toward the top even as darkness approached
and soon found themselves without light and unable to descend.
They were wearing only light clothing, and temperatures were
already dropping into the 40s, with a significant wind chill. The
rangers provided them with lights. Baker then talked the pair
safely down through various pitches over a period of seven hours.
The couple stopped on a ledge around midnight, and it appeared that
rangers were going to have to climb to them. Members of a climbing
team were accordingly staged, but the two climbers were able to
make the final descent and hike out. They showed some signs of
hypothermia but were otherwise uninjured.
[Mark Igo, CR, PINN, 3/9]
NPS Morning Report 3/11/99,
posted to rec.climbing.