MAZAMA – A man climbing Lexington Tower near Liberty Bell Mountain fell some 1,300 feet and had to be airlifted from the mountain Friday, Sept. 6.
The 39-year-old man, whose name was not released, is from London, England, and was free climbing on the east side of Lexington Tower with another man from Vancouver, B.C., said Okanogan County Sheriff Tony Hawley.
“The climber sustained severe injuries and was not able to self-rescue,” Hawley said. “The person he was climbing with observed the fall and was required to hike out to Highway 20 and drive to a phone near Winthrop.”
The sheriff’s office and Aero Methow Ambulance were dispatched about 4:15 p.m. Okanogan County Search and Rescue, a volunteer organization, also responded.
“On my arrival it was determined that air assets would be required to extract the injured party,” said Hawley.
Whidbey Island Naval Air Station was contacted and responded.
In the meantime, Okanogan County Search and Rescue deployed two technical high angle team members and three Aero Methow emergency medical technicians to the area in case extraction by the helicopter was unsuccessful.
The Navy chopper arrived at 6:22 p.m. and two EMTs were lowered to the injured man.
“Due to the distance and the time it would take, NAS Whidbey was required to leave the area and their EMTs to refuel,” Hawley said. “EMTs provided medical assistance to the injured party and stayed” until the helicopter returned at 8:21 p.m.
“The injured party was hoisted to the helicopter, as were the EMTs,” Hawley said.
The man was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. He apparently sustained a pelvic injury, according to a sheriff’s office report.
The search was terminated at 9:51 p.m., Hawley said.
He said Okanogan County Search and Rescue welcomes more volunteers.