Injured Climber Airlifted From Mountains Near San Diego, CA

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An injured climber was evacuated from a crag near San Diego, California after breaking his leg on Sunday, April 5. Photo by Cal Fire.

A rock climber was injured while climbing the Descanso Wall in the Cuyamaca Mountains, near San Diego, California, and had to be evacuated from the area via helicopter last Sunday, April 5. The climber was an eighteen-year-old adult male who had fallen approximately 20 feet in the accident and broken his leg, according to Cal Fire Captain Isaac Sanchez who spoke with Rock and Ice.

The call for rescue came in at approximately 3:50 p.m. on Sunday, April 5, according to reports. A helicopter arrived at the injured man’s location where search and rescue teams stabilized him before flying him to a waiting ground ambulance at about 5 p.m. All in all, the rescue took a little over an hour, The San Diego Union-Tribune reports. The name of the climber and his current condition have not been disclosed.

Captain Sanchez, who dealt with the injured man’s rescue, urged individuals to respect local restrictions in an interview conducted by Rock and Ice. 

“Ultimately it comes down to personal safety. Just please operate in a safe manner,” Sanchez said.  “Some of the pastimes we do are inherently dangerous. Really practice safety and keep safety as your primary guide. Use that as one of your factors as to whether you should be doing it. If you are doing it, keep it as safe as possible. These kinds of rescues are dangerous under the best of circumstances. These are not simple rescues. We do ’em all the time but the danger is there every time. We just want folks to keep the big picture in mind.”

Descanso Wall is a popular crag located near San Diego with both traditional and sport climbing routes as well as bouldering. Below is a description of the area provided by Mountain Project.

Descanso Wall, for the size, packs quite a punch. On the East side of the wall there is a great section for those practicing trad or those brave enough to free solo. Going West from here you have a few sport routes with excellent steepness and overhung at the beginning. These routes are about 110-120 feet but can give you a pump with micro crimpers, slopers/friction and great smearing. Further west is Icarus 5.11a in the dihedral. And, basically, the further West you go, the harder the climb (i.e. the cave section with chain draws?)

Descanso Wall. Photo by Mountain Project.

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