Navy team rescues climbers caught on 8,800-foot ‘Forbidden Peak’

| June 21, 2018 | 30 Comments

Navy SAR
The Navy Times reports that NAS Whidbey Island is in the news again, and this time it doesn’t involve a sky penis. Seems a daring duo attempted to climb the dismally named “Forbidden Peak” and found themselves in trouble. At night. So, they called for help.

A search and rescue team from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island successfully rescued two climbers stuck on an 8,800-foot peak in the North Cascades in the dead of night.

The five-person SAR team received the call late Tuesday evening and arrived at the location just before midnight. The climbers were waiting near a vertical rock face at the base of a snow shoot on a summit called Forbidden Peak.

The SAR team made several passes over the peak to ensure they could safely airlift the climbers in the challenging altitude and temperature.

The climbers were transported in a MH-60S helicopter to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Washington.

The Forbidden Peak rescue marked the 11th mission for the NAS Whidbey Island SAR team this year. The unit is authorized to perform civilian search and rescue and medical evacuation operations so long as they do not interfere with primary military duties.

I have no idea of the skill level and equipage of the pair of unfortunate climbers, but this could be a case of self-inflicted wounds. If indeed found to be irresponsible, they should foot the bill for the ride home.

Category: Navy, Search and Rescue

Comments (30)

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  1. Jeff LPH 3, 63-66 says:

    Looks like the climbers reached the Peak of their experiance in climbing.

  2. 26Limabeans says:

    carry in carry out

  3. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    That bird was put down where? On what? Holy shit. Maybe it’s the angle from which the pic was taken but, if not, holy shit.

    • Club Manager, USA ret. says:

      Looks like the skids are on flat surface with the nose overhanging. Regardless, exceptional airmanship.

      • Ret_25X says:

        UH 60s have no skids. That helicopter is sitting on its belly…

        • Claw says:

          I don’t think the bird is “sitting” on it’s belly at all.

          My bet is the pilot is maintaining just enough collective (hover) to keep the landing gear and lower surface from impacting the ground.

          Ain’t nothing worse than getting the tires stuck in the mud or having a stump shoved up your Hell Hole./smile

    • Planet Ord says:

      I’m going with Holy Shit!

      Looks like there is space behind the tail rotor, but the fuselage is on its belly. And some heroic looking dude is lending a hand. As I recall, Forbidden Peak is rocky like that.

    • Le Merc says:

      Looks like this may be a substitute picture. The article says the rescue tool place in “the dead of night”. Otherwise someone has a helluva of fine camera to turn night into full color. 🙂

  4. A Proud Infidel®™️ says:

    KUDOS to the Rescue Crew and IMHO YES, they ought to be billed for their rescue.

  5. Thunderstixx says:

    I witnessed the skill of a lot of Chopper Pilots while stationed in Alaska.
    I still am in awe of the level of proficiency they display as part of a regular workday for them.
    The Coast Guard chopper pilots though…
    Those guys are just plain crazy and should be on meds !!!

    • desert says:

      They probably are on meds, thats what makes them so crazy lol

    • AW1Ed says:

      My first training squadron, HS-1, had an H-3 used to demonstrate the aircraft’s water landing and taxi capabilities. The pilots would put it down on the St. John’s River and go for a boat trip. Noisy, but impressive.

      My H-2 HAC could taxi the bird just using the tail wheel- looked like a kid pulling a wheelie. This caused some concern among the line crew who were trying to park us.

      Good times!

  6. The Other Whitey says:

    Excellent work in what was undoubtedly a white-knuckle flight. However, nothing will ever be as awesome as the legendary Sky Penis.

  7. borderbill (a NIMBY/BANANA) says:

    Garbage in, garbage out. Stupid should pay.

  8. Ex-PH2 says:

    People who climb mountains are nuts. The highest percentage of them are not mountaineers, they are tourists trying to get a cheap thrill. And those are the people who are always, always, always needing rescue from their silly notions.

    Kudos to the Navy crew for doing that in the dark and getting those twits to safety. Yes, they should be billed for it, because they were obviously out of their depth on that mountain.

  9. NHSparky says:

    In a lot of states, if one is negligent and needs rescue, they indeed pay the state for savibg their dumb asses.

    As it should be.

    • jonp says:

      They sure get a bill in NH. Happens all the time in The Presidentials.

      I’ve climbed Washington several times and unless I fell off a cliff by accident I’d let myself die of exposure before I called someone to share in my fuckup

  10. RetiredDevilDoc8404 says:

    Idiots and alcohol, the two biggest reasons for job security in EMS and SAR. And sometimes the latter amplifies the former with disasterous results, although they seem to choose inaccessable places for their stupidity. Bravo Zulu to the SAR team for rescuing the morons, kudus to the aviators for outstanding flying in that terrain at night. To the idiots who set this in motion – you need to be writing letters of apology to the trees and plants you are causing to work overtime by stealing all that oxygen, get on your knees and thank God that the worst thing to come out of this is that you get socked with a huge bill for your stupidity; pay it and learn from your F-up.

  11. David says:

    Is a snow shoot anything like a snow chute? Don’t know mountaineering slang, this is a legit question.

  12. Atkron says:

    Too many hikers are going out into the North Cascades to places outside of their skill level.

    Local news around here were saying that some officials are blaming social media, making it look easy or peer pressure, or some shit.

    I’d know more, but I can’t watch local news anymore. Seattle is full of street people, Honduran Drug Gangs (sanctuary city you know), heroin needles, and shitty politicians. Sitting through those stories just to get to stories about morons out in the back country just isn’t worth it.

    • Atkron says:

      As you can see by the photo above the morons had to take a photo of their rescuer first before they took the help.

      #priorities

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      Climbing Mt. Everest used to be a difficult, arduous and life-threatening thing to do. Sir Edmun Hillary and his sherpa Norgay Tenzing did it in 1953, reached the top, got the photo and went back down.

      After that, every decade saw more and more people going to Nepal to “challenge the mountain”, many of them losing their lives or getting badly injured by showing no respect for the mountain or their sherpas. Now, it’s all about money and how much the Nepal government can collect in fees from the “adventurers” and the mountain has been turned into a trash dump.

      So when I see people stuck on a mountaintop squeaking for help because they are out of their depth in every way, I have no sympathy for them. They think it’s all a lark. They do not understand how easily Mom Nature can and will turn on you. It ain’t pretty or fun when she does.

  13. Green Thumb says:

    As to your last sentence, potentially donate 500 community hours to the families of the unit stationed on Whidbey Island or to the people of their (unit) choosing.

  14. jonp says:

    That is one shitload of a landing job by that pilot.
    This is going to cost those retards

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