Park Rangers Rescue Man from the Crater Lake Caldera

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Date: July 11, 2011
Contact: Marsha McCabe, 541-594-3091
Contact: Pete Reinhardt, 541-594-3056

On Monday morning July 11, 2011, a 27 year old male from New York fell from the rim of the Crater Lake caldera in Crater Lake National Park. He was traveling in the park with friends when he went beyond a barrier wall onto a snow bank along the walkway leading to the park's Sinnott Memorial overlook. The Sinnott Memorial is located in an extremely steep area below the rim of the caldera. Eyewitness accounts indicate that the man slid head first down a snow chute coming to rest about 300 feet below the rim.

The incident was reported at 10:30 a.m. on Monday morning, and park rangers immediately initiated a high angle technical rescue. The man suffered serious injuries in the fall. Mercy Flights from Medford, Oregon assisted 49 park staff members in the complex rescue operations. Difficulties with snow, steep terrain and rockfall complicated the rescue efforts. He was evacuated from the caldera wall approximately six hours later and transported via helicopter to the Rogue Valley Medical Center in Medford, Oregon.

With several feet of snow still covering many areas of the park, visitors should be aware of potential hazards such as slippery snow patches and falling rocks. Steep snowfields still exist at many overlooks along Rim Drive, and visitors should use extreme caution to prevent falls. Because of the hazardous terrain that exists in the caldera surrounding Crater Lake, travel below the rim is prohibited at all times. Please respect barriers and warnings that are in place to ensure everyone's safety by not traveling beyond them.



Last updated: February 28, 2015

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