Thursday, August 7, 2008

Sunday Appointment

Talked to a captain from Phoenix Fire -- we're going to Camelback on Sunday so he can show me the site of the rescue. I'm now convinced this will make a good blog for work. Still not sure what terrain is like near the cubby where the "victims" holed up as they waited for help. It looked easy on the video, but there's a 300' cliff right below, supposedly. The captain tells me these guys ascended the headwall from a 140' class 4 section located on a southern exposure accessible from the summit trail by taking a right at the top of the steepest handrail section. I think that's where the 5.7 "Line of Fire" route is, something I've always wanted to climb. The dudes hiked all over August Canyon while looking for an easier way down and eventually found the cubby. That's the point where they called 911, I guess. Captain says the weaker climber was scared out of his wits. So now the only question in my mind is whether or not the fire department response could have been minimal instead of the multi-hour, multi-fire-station event it was. One firefighter with climbing shoes goes up the Class 4 with a backpack full of climbing gear and ice-water. He belays the guys as they climb down. The only problem with my scenario: Lawyers. If something went wrong, the family would be asking, "Why didn't you use a helicopter and 30 firefighters?"

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