YAKUTAT, Alaska (AP) -- An injured climber was rescued Wednesday after he was caught in a rockslide on Mount Augusta, but bad weather kept rescuers from getting to a second climber.
The injured climber was rescued from a steep, icy slope at about 9,500 feet where his tent was lashed to the side of the 14,070-foot mountain. He had been stranded for almost 40 hours.
An Alaska Air National Guard HH-60 Pavehawk helicopter hovered above the climber while a pararescuer was lowered to the man. The climber was then placed in a hoist and raised to the helicopter at about 1:35 p.m., according to Senior Airman Kristi Kendall.
The climber, identified as Jack Tackle, was to be flown to Yakutat about 60 miles away and transferred to a C-130 transport plane to be taken to an Anchorage hospital. The extent of his injuries was not immediately known.
Clouds and fog made it impossible to get to a second climber at base camp at 7,500 feet, Kendall said. She said the second climber, Charlie Sassara of Anchorage, was not injured and had two weeks of provisions. A private air service was expected to pick up the climber when the weather improved.
Maj. Mike Haller, a spokesman for the Alaska Air National Guard, said initially it was believed that both climbers were injured.
The slide occurred at 10 p.m. Monday night. Sassara got Tackle into a tent in a relatively sheltered area, then headed back to the pair's base camp where he used a satellite telephone to call his family in Alaska for help.
A Canadian rescue team from Kluane National Park in the southwest corner of the Yukon was dispatched Tuesday in a pair of Bell Jet Ranger helicopters Tuesday, but both were turned back by poor visibility.
The Pavehawk chopper reached what rescuers believe was the base camp late Tuesday but had to leave because of fading light and deteriorating weather.
Mount Augusta is at the north end of the Alaska Panhandle near the point where Alaska, British Columbia and the Yukon come together.
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