CHP Helicopter and Backcountry Rescues
June 25, 2014
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  • Yesterday morning at 9:20AM Inyo County Sheriff’s Dispatch received notification that a SPOT device had been activated with the approximate coordinates of Little Whitney Meadow – west of Lone Pine in the high Sierra’s. Seth Baker, a 29-year old man out of Bakersfield, CA was camping with six friends, when (according to Baker) he was bucked off his mule after he and his friends were racing their mules across a meadow. Baker hit the ground with the left side of his body, and attempted to “walk off the pain”.

    By the following morning (the 24th) Baker was unable to move.  One of the campers had a SPOT device and activated it for help.  California Highway Patrol (CHP) helicopter H80, out of Apple Valley, responded to Baker’s location, and transported him to the Lone Pine Airport where he was met by an ambulance to further transport him to Southern Inyo Hospital for treatment.

    At 12:20PM yesterday afternoon Sheriff’s Dispatch was contacted to assist 64-year old David Cooper from Sacramento, CA and Nicholas Andrade a 24-year old man from Northridge, CA who were stuck on Wheeler Ridge Road (which is a steep non-paved road above the Bishop area that leads to Wheeler Crest). According to Andrade, Cooper (who is Andrade’s grandfather) wanted to show him the area. They began their drive on Wheeler Ridge Road on June 23, 2014; Andrade said Cooper asked him to drive because he was feeling tired. Andrade, who was unfamiliar with rough backcountry roads, got the truck stuck in a sandy patch and the truck began to slide (slightly) down the mountain. Cooper and Andrade both exited the vehicle. Not knowing what to do, they camped overnight near Cooper’s truck.

    The next morning, Cooper was feeling weak and tired. Andrade walked down Wheeler Ridge Road until he was able to get cellular service and call for help. CHP H80 transported Cooper and Andrade to the Bishop airport where Symons Emergency Services transported Cooper to Northern Inyo Hospital for medical evaluation. The US Forest Service also assisted.