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Man survives fall into St. Helens Crater.

Post by Craig Hill / The News Tribune on April 13, 2008 at 12:19 pm with No Comments »
April 13, 2008 12:19 pm

Check out this story from the Associated Press.

The thing about climbing to the top of St. Helens when there is a lot of snow is that you sometimes can’t even see into the crater without walking out on a cornice. This is why you shouldn’t take that risk. Instead, if you work your way along the crater rim you can often find a view of the lava dome from a safe place.

On a side note, Anybody else think it’s a shame snowmobilers are allowed to drive to the crater rim? Might as well let them ride their ATVs up there in the summer.

YACOLT, Wash. (AP) — A snowmobiler from Oregon suffered an injured leg but survived a fall of up to 200 feet into the crater of Mount St. Helens on Saturday.

Skamania County Undersheriff Dave Cox says 52-year-old John Slemp, from Damascus, Ore., was on one of three snowmobiles that climbed to the west crater rim.

Cox says Slemp got off his snowmobile and walked out onto a cornice overhanging the crater when it gave way.

He reportedly fell 100 to 200 feet before landing on the inside slope of the crater. He then slid on his hands and knees to the bottom of the crater.

He was wearing his snowmobile helmet, and Cox said there is a heavy snowpack in the area, so snow may have broken his fall.

Officials were notified at 5:20 p.m., and a private helicopter flew two paramedics to the crater and located Slemp about 7 p.m.

He had an injured leg, but was able with assistance to get to the helicopter and be flown out to Yacolt.

His exact condition and whether he required transport to a hospital weren’t immediately known.

Cox says the U.S. Forest Service will investigate the incident.

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