Adventure

Dramatic Rescue Documented on El Cap

Austrian man stranded after severing thumb

An Austrian man took a fall on Monday afternoon near the summit of the Nose Route on El Capitan and severed his thumb, setting in motion a dramatic rescue by helicopter. The man, whose name was not released, was lead climbing some 1,000 feet from the mountain's 7,569-foot summit when he fell and tangled his right thumb in his rope. Incredibly, the digit fell only 80 feet and landed on a small ledge, near enough for his partner Richard Edelsbacher to recover it. Yosemite search and rescue dispatched a helicopter and evacuated the man to California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, where doctors successfully put hand and thumb back together. Yosemite blogger Tom Evans was on site to take pictures as the climbers pulled two rescuers dangling from a helicopter onto the rock ledge where they were stranded. In more than four years of reporting from the mountain, the audacity of the rescue surprised even Evans. "I have never seen such a mission," he wrote.

Read more at National Parks Traveler

Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.
Contribute to Outside
Filed To: News
More Adventure