Climber survives ‘cartwheel’ down slope | NevadaAppeal.com

Climber survives ‘cartwheel’ down slope

Nevada Appeal News Service

A 57-year-old Vermont man was treated for an ankle injury after authorities said he “cartwheeled” 150 feet down the north face of Mount Ritter, east of Yosemite National Park.

Charles Degenklob, of Putney, Vt., was attempting to climb the north face with one of his two sons on Sunday.

According to Shannon Kendall, public information officer for the Mono County Sheriff’s Office, he fell on the snow portion of the climb when his crampons dug into the snow and caused him to cartwheel down the slope, severely injuring his ankle.

Crampons are outdoor footwear made from spikes and worn on boots to provide traction on snow and ice.

Kendall said the two men spent the night on a bench off the snow and were joined in the morning by Degenklob’s second son.

The three slowly moved down the glacier to Lake Catherine with the rest of their equipment on Monday.

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The next day, one son left for help and encountered a party with a cell phone was able to call for assistance.

The Mono County Sheriff Search and Rescue team and a helicopter team from Yosemite National Park were dispatched.

Mono County deputies guided the Yosemite team to the victim who was extracted by a short haul system below the helicopter.

He was treated for his injuries and released, Kendall said.

Mount Ritter is in the heart of the High Sierra, east of Yosemite National Park.

Naturalist John Muir is the first person known to have scaled the 13,140-foot peak in October, 1872. Muir dubbed it “king of the mountains of the middle portion of the High Sierra.”