Rescue crews locate lost climber on Mount Shasta
December 28, 2004
MOUNT SHASTA, Calif. – A 46-year-old New York man who became stranded by a winter storm about 10,000 feet up Mount Shasta was found Tuesday morning by a Siskiyou County sheriff’s rescue team.
James Aldrich called sheriff’s officials Tuesday morning, and three skiers sent in to find him were able to locate him just before 9 a.m., sheriff’s spokeswoman Susan Gravenkamp said.
“He’s in good condition, but he doesn’t have snowshoes, so they’re trying to find a way to get him off the mountain,” she said. Rescue teams may drive in a Snocat to bring Aldrich out, she said.
Aldrich left for his climb about 4 a.m. Saturday. By noon the next day, a fierce snowstorm and high winds had collapsed his tent and made the climb too difficult.
He called authorities Monday afternoon from his cell phone and was advised to stay where he was on the mountain’s southwest side, said Gravenkamp. He had a tent and several days worth of food, she said.
But Aldrich told sheriff’s officials around 3 p.m. Monday that he was concerned about the storm, so he attempted to descend the mountain. By 9 p.m., officials hadn’t heard from him again and sent three skiers up onto the mountain to find him.
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“It’s a real bad time to climb the mountain and there was a big storm predicted for the weekend and he went by himself,” Gravenkamp said. “That’s all the wrong things to do.”
Aldrich, from Homer, N.Y., is climbing the 14,162-foot mountain as a fund-raiser for the family of a fellow church youth leader in New York who suffers from pancreatitis.