On Sunday, March 24, 2013, at approximately 4:45 pm, the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, Gallatin County Search and Rescue, and American Medical Response responded to Palisade Falls trailhead in Hyalite Canyon for an injured ice climber. The ice climber had fallen to the ground from a height of fifteen feet resulting in an injury to his ankle. The victim and his climbing partner attempted to self-rescue for over an hour before the partner returned to the trailhead alone to alert emergency responders. Search and rescue personnel were able to reach, assess, stabilize, and transport the patient back to the trailhead by 6:45 pm. The injured climber was subsequently transported to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital for evaluation.
The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind backcountry users to always bring gear appropriate for unexpected emergencies. After the initial fall, the secondary threat to this climber’s safety was hypothermia. A sleeping bag and insulating pad are small, light pieces of equipment could be used in similar situations to keep an injured or lost backcountry user from becoming cold while waiting for rescue.