AMRC Mission in Navajo, NM 
Thursday, July 5, 2012, 06:10 PM - AMRC
Posted by Administrator
2:40am the phone rings. New text: MISSION 1 or 2 hikers stranded 120' up on a rock in Navajo, NM.

I talked with police and got the status update and GPS coordinates from the field coordinator. 3 hours later, Lance, Paul, Zack and I are standing in front of an impressive block of volcanic rock ("Frog Rock") right in the middle of town. Original reports were for 1-2 patients on the rock, with a stranded firefighter, who tried to get them. 50 degrees, raining, and extremely slick rock. At incident base, the fireman and one patient were down. From the backseat of the cop car the first person said that he didn't know the 2nd guy's name, but called him Palo. I grabbed my trad rack and headed up with Paul, as Lance and Zack circled the monolith searching for the other person. Eventually we roped up a few 5th class moves from the top (with a bomber anchor around a natural arch!). I couldn't in good conscience go for it knowing how poor the rock (dirt?) quality was. Every hold literally exploded in my hand! There was no hope for pro holding, and I didn't know if there was an anchor at the top to get down. Paul and I switched places and he went for the move to the ledge... and made it! Bravo! He reached the top and yelled. No answer. 2 hours of climbing and all we found was an unopened beer and a pipe. Paul managed to get down OK, thanks to Zack's route finding help. We radioed back to IB that there was no sign of him. They radioed back, that he just walked into base. Apparently, he lived a half a block away, just woke up (~10am at this point), and wondered what was all the commotion. The first guy in the cop car was not pleased with the 2nd guy - since he had left him up there all night in the pouring rain in jeans and a t-shirt. It'll be interesting to see how that relationship develops.


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Mission Report by Paul: Youtube
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