Another agencyâ€™s helicopter aids Inyo Countyâ€™s Search and Rescue team members during a fall 2011 rescue on Mt. Whitney. The team responds to calls year-round on a near-weekly basis, from the top of Mt. Whitney to the depths of Death Valleyâ€™s lowest canyons. Photo courtesy Frank Klein/Inyo County Search and Rescue
Two climbers are trapped by the first big snow storm of the season. Off-track climbers are stranded above a cliff. A man, encamped at 11,000 feet, is immobilized by high-altitude pulmonary edema. An experienced mountaineer disappears on a day hike. A family disappears from stranded car in the desert.
These are the kinds of calls to which Inyo County Search and Rescue responds on a nearly weekly basis. According to www.inyosar.com, the all-volunteer, non-profit SAR organization, operating under the direction of Inyo County Sheriffâ€™s Department, assists people in distress in terrain as diverse as Mt. Whitneyâ€™s 14,497-foot peak and Death Valleyâ€™s Badwater Basin at 282 feet below sea level. When needed, Inyo SAR also assists other California SAR teams in large-scale and complex missions.
In a recent interview, members of SARâ€™s leadership spoke about what life is like for the approximately 70 volunteer SAR members, explaining the nature of team members and the searches and rescues they perform.
Read more in the Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013 edition of The Inyo Register.