Sequoia-Kings Canyon Incidents: Two separate deaths in the Palisades

The Palisades, where two mountaineers died last week, are an impressive lineup of serrated peaks along the Sierra Crest that provide the boundary for Kings Canyon National Park on the west and Inyo National Forest on the east. The peaks (from left to right, or north to south, and not necessarily all in view from this photo’s perspective) are Thunderbolt (14,003), Starlight (14,200), North Palisade (14,242) Polemonium (14,200), Middle Palisade (14,019), Norman Clyde (13,277), and Disappointment (13,923).

Ash Mountain Sequoia-Kings Canyon Incidents
8/24/19: Rangers stopped a vehicle for failing to stop at a stop sign. The driver was unlicensed and appeared to have been drinking alcohol. He performed poorly on field sobriety tasks and was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence. He was transported to the Tulare County Jail.Sequoia-Kings Canyon Incidents
8/19/2019: Ambulance 6 responded to Lodgepole Market for a 59-year-old female from Utah with a head laceration. Patient was treated and denied transportSequoia-Kings Canyon Incidents
8/20/2019: Rangers responded to a single vehicle collision at Rock Wall. The vehicle was heading southbound when the driver was unable to navigate a right curve, ultimately crashing into a granite rock wall on the roadside. All three occupants from Texas were uninjured and the vehicle was towed.
8/21/2019: Rangers responded to a report of two 18-year-olds from San Diego that were stranded at the Lodgepole Campground. The individuals were left by their friends and had no way out of the park. A courtesy transport was provided to a Three Rivers hotel.
8/24/2019: Ambulance 6 responded to Tokopah Falls trailhead for a 53-year-old female with an ankle injury. Patient was treated and refused transport.
Mineral King
8/20/2019: Report of 64-year-old female in Rattlesnake Canyon with cardiac symptoms. Patient was flown to Ash Mountain Helibase and transported via ambulance to Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno.
8/25/2019: Rangers received a visitor report of a small fire near Cliff Creek on the Paradise Ridge Trail. An NPS fire crew was inserted with a park helicopter. Fire personnel discovered a 1/100th of an acre of duff had burned as a result of an escaped campfire from an adjacent fire ring. Fire crews were able to quickly attain 100% containment on the fire. Investigations are still ongoing.
High Sierra
8/26/2019: Rangers received a report of an overdue party from Inyo County. Investigations indicated they were not necessarily overdue, but just behind schedule. They hiked out to Onion Valley without agency assistance.
Grant Grove
8/20/2019: Rangers assisted with a motor vehicle accident in Cedar Grove.
8/23/2019: Rangers and Ambulance 5 responded to the Grant Grove Restaurant for a 45-year-old female experiencing chest pain. The patient was transported by park and non-NPS ground ambulances to a hospital.
8/24/2019: Rangers and Ambulance 5 responded to Azalea Campground for a minor medical.
8/25/2019: Rangers and Ambulance 5 responded to a minor medical.
8/24/2019: Rangers participated in a Structure Fire Training in Wilsonia.
Watch for wildlife while on park roads. (National Park Service photo)

A doe with 4 fawns has been repeatedly sighted near Park Road. Please slow down!
Sierra Crest

8/19/2019: The park received a report from Inyo County of a young adult male who had fallen near Thunderbolt Peak (elevation 14,003 feet) along the park boundary. Helicopter 552 performed a recon and located an unresponsive individual in the park on the steep southwest side of the peak at about 12,500 feet elevation. On 8/20/2019 rangers were short-hauled to the location, confirmed the individual was deceased, and performed a technical recovery.
8/19/2019: A wilderness ranger/EMT was able to assist a visitor in Darwin Lakes, who had activated their SOS.
8/20/2019: The park received an SOS activation for a 63-year-old male with a broken prosthetic leg on the John Muir Trail between Palisade Lakes and Mather Pass. A wilderness ranger/EMT responded and an evacuation was performed the next day by park helicopter 552 to the Bishop Airport.
8/20/2019: The park received an SOS activation for a 37-year-old female with a suspected wrist fracture near the JMT and Baxter Pass trail intersection. A wilderness ranger/EMT responded and a medevac was completed by park helicopter 552.
8/23/2019: The park received an SOS activation for a 25-year-old male with nausea and fatigue near Kearsarge Pass. A wilderness ranger/EMT responded and assisted the patient over Kearsarge Pass where he was able to self-extricate out to the Onion Valley trailhead.
8/24/2019: The park received information from Air Force Rescue Coordination Center by way of California Office of Emergency Services of a personal locater beacon activation near Polemonium Peak in Palisade Basin. Helicopter 552 responded and located a deceased individual outside the park in Inyo County. It was later determined that CalOES had also notified Inyo County of the PLB activation since signals had also been received on that side of the boundary, and a CHP helicopter had already located the subject. Inyo County Sheriff’s Office completed the investigation and recovery.
Cedar Grove
8/19/2019: Ambulance 4 responded to the Cedar Grove Visitor Center for a 28-year-old male with facial lacerations after a fall onto a stump. The patient was treated and refused transport.
8/19/2019: Rangers responded to the Cedar Grove Visitor Center for a 70-year-old male with hand lacerations. The patient was treated and refused transport.
8/24/2019: Rangers responded to the Cedar Grove Visitor Center for an 11-year-old male with a hand laceration. The patient was treated and the parent refused transport.
Revenue and Fee Management Branch
Entrance Stations
Visitation is slowing significantly; more campsites are available and there is less volume at the stations. There is increased bear activity in campgrounds.Sequoia-Kings Canyon Incidents
Bear in Buckeye Sunday night. It was reported to bear management team.
Azalea Campground site 34 was closed due dead branch. Branch was removed Friday and site reopened. Bear prints in site 89 in Azalea, reported to bear management.
Cedar Grove had over 90 sites available Saturday, which is unusual for this time of year.
A bear broke into a vehicle at site 115 at Dorst Creek Campground. Site 115 and two adjacent sites were occupied by large group (estimated 40 visitors) with poor compliance iIssues reported to LE rangers, who followed-up with contacts.Sequoia-Kings Canyon Incidents
●The week of 08/19/2019- 08/25/2019 there were 289 incidents that required assistance for all the parks that use the SRCC: Pinnacles NP (13), Whiskey Town Recreation Area (1), Channel Islands NP (7), Sequoia (144) and Kings Canyon (124)Sequoia-Kings Canyon Incidents
Wilderness Branch
The Lone Pine ranger made a patrol into the LeConte and McClure patrol areas. The Lone Pine ranger patrolled in the Tyndall and Kern patrol areas.Sequoia-Kings Canyon Incidents
Bishop trailhead ranger Melissa Ledbury has departed for a job at Isle Royale. She has been a great asset to the wilderness branch over the past three seasons and will be missed.
Due to decreased staffing, the wilderness office will be closed Sundays for the remainder of the permit season. Wilderness permits for the foothills trailheads (Garfield Grove, Ladybug, Middle Fork, and North Fork) will be available in the self-issue box outside the Foothills Visitor Center on Sundays.

Sequoia-Kings Canyon: Frequently asked questions

Sequoia-Kings Canyon Incidents

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