On Saturday, May 14, the Mono County Sheriff volunteer Search and Rescue (SAR) Team was called out in aid of an injured backcountry skier. James McHugh, 38, of Lake Tahoe, was skiing with friends near the third pillar of Mt. Dana, a popular backcountry spring ski descent three miles northeast of Tioga Pass.
Mr. McHugh slid down approximately 150 feet, striking his head on a rock during the slide. His friends reached him quickly and began administering first aid. He suffered numerous cuts and abrasions and a possible head injury. The group activated a Spot Satellite GPS Messenger and also had a member of their group ski down to their vehicles to obtain cell service to contact the Mono County Sheriff’s Department.
The SAR team sent rescue teams to Mr. McHugh’s location as his friends began sliding him down the 1,500 foot slope. Due to his possible head injury and remote location, a Navy Seahawk helicopter from Fallon Naval Air Station was requested and responded to the scene. Mr. McHugh was ultimately lowered down the slope where SAR members and Mono County Paramedics reached him.
He was transported to the ambulance via litter and then taken to Mammoth Hospital for treatment and evaluation.