UPDATED 9:43 AM PT – Tuesday, June 7, 2022
One climber is dead and four others are hospitalized after climbing California’s Mount Shasta in poor weather conditions.
The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Monday that three separate rescue operations found four climber’s, two of whom were airlifted in critical condition. A fifth climber died before crews could reach them.
“It’s 14,000 feet,” said Siskiyou County Sheriff Jeremiah LaRue. “You really need to make sure you have the appropriate equipment and also the training.”
Multiple climbers were airlifted off #MountShasta Monday with serious injuries, including one fatality. We do not advise climbing the mountain the next 2-3 days due to unstable conditions. @CHP_Northern #Siskiyou #climbing #searchandrescue pic.twitter.com/9Pn1sZqCOL
— Siskiyou County Sheriff (@SiskiyouSheriff) June 7, 2022
The guide was leading a couple, male and a female, in Avalanche Gulch when they all fell. Eyewitnesses said one of the climbers fell about 1,000 feet. Mount Shasta rises 14,180 feet above sea level in the Cascade Range and typically has snow all year round.
“What makes it dangerous right now is the change from really cold to really warm,” stated Courtney Kreider, a spokesperson for the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office. “We had snow over the weekend, just a little bit of snow, and it created this thin layer of ice in Avalanche Gulch. When it warms up, that thin layer of ice sloughs off so you have to have really good climbing gear and climbing boots that can really dig into ice.”
The climbers have not yet been identified publicly. The sheriff’s office is working to notify the next of kin. Officials are blaming a fresh snowfall on the Avalanche Gulch Trail that turned to ice overnight.