Injured climber stranded 150 ft. above ground

Beacon Rock rescue occurs in darkness

By Craig Brown, Columbian Managing Editor

Published:

 

Technical rescue crews from Vancouver and Fire District 6 were called to Beacon Rock State Park in Skamania County Saturday evening after an injured climber was reported to be stranded 150 feet above the ground.

The assistance calls came in around 8:20 p.m. According to emergency radio traffic monitored at The Columbian, a woman was climbing on the south side of the rock when she slipped and fell 15 feet, possibly dislocating her knee. She and a companion apparently made it to a ledge, but were high above the ground and in need of rescue.

The two technical rescue crews that responded have members who are specially trained in rope rescues.

At 9:15 p.m., one of the rescuers was with her, and they were preparing to lower her to the ground in a wire mesh stretcher called a Stokes. The actual rescue occurred after 10 p.m. The plan was to rescue the injured climber first, her companion second, and finally to lower a rescue team member who had reached the ledge to render aid.

As they worked, darkness was rapidly becoming an issue, with rescuers calling for more lighting to be brought to the scene. Sunset was at 8:54 p.m.

Beacon Rock is an 850-foot monolith on the north shore of the Columbia River, about 29 miles east of Vancouver. It’s one of the most popular climbing destinations in the region, with multiple climbing routes of varying difficulty.