Rock Climber Injured In Fall
At The Index Wall
May 06, 2018
Climber on Lower Index Town Wall in Index, WA. Photo courtesy Washington Climbers Coalition. Photo by: Larry Kemp, Larry Kemp Collection. CLICK TO ENLARGE
CLICK TO ENLARGE: Snohomish County Air Rescue members Saturday near Index Wall. Photo: Facebook, image courtesy Greg Miller.
CLICK TO ENLARGE: Skykomish River at Index, Washington. Lower Index Town Wall can be seen at upper left among the near-vertical large granite slabs. Photo: Sky Valley Chronicle
(INDEX, WA.) – A rescue crew from Snohomish County Fire District 26 swung into action Saturday afternoon to locate, stabilize and then air rescue an injured rock climber in east Snohomish County.
The climber reportedly fell about 20 feet from the Index Wall and injured his back. The Wall is an extremely popular destination ascent for rock climbers.
KOMO-TV identified the injured climber as 33-year-old JP Blackmon. District 26 EMT’s hiked up to treat the man, got him stabilized and then took him to a location where a county rescue helicopter picked him up and transported him to Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett.
The extent of his injuries was not immediately known. The TV station report said Blackmon did not have health insurance so friends set up a GoFundMe page for him to help with medical expenses.
They wrote on that page, “Although we currently think that he will be OK, he was pretty banged up and was evacuated by helicopter. Without medical insurance, his bills will be substantial. Please help if you can; it could be any one of us next."
Climbers own the famous Wall
Eight years ago, in August 2010 the Washington Climbers Coalition (WCC) announced it had succeeded in its campaign to buy the Index Lower Town Wall, the premier rock climbing area near the small mountain town of Index.
“Climbers have been working for more than fifteen years to buy the Lower Town Wall” said Darryl Cramer at the time. He’s a WCC board member and guidebook author who has climbed at the Lower Town Wall for nearly 30 years. “We’ve pulled it off and ensured that the Lower Town Wall will remain open to climbing forever.”
Apart from Mt. Rainier, The Lower Town Wall is Washington’s most famous climbing destination. The WCC said at the time that the purchase was a “preservation effort” that enhances open space protection and recreational opportunities along the Highway 2 corridor.
The Lower Town Wall used to be on private property and is the site of a former rock quarry.