Idaho National Guard assists in rescue of 19-year-old climber near Stanley

STANLEY — The Idaho Army National Guard Aviation Group assisted Custer County Search and Rescue in the rescue of an injured 19-year-old hiker on Thompson Peak near Stanley July 6.

A hiker injured his ankle while climbing in the Sawtooth Range about 75 miles from Boise.

“Our crew did an incredible job in a very difficult environment,” said Capt. Katherine Smith, commander of Det. 1, Company G 1st, 168th Aviation Regiment. “The rescue required a great deal of coordination among the crew, as well as cooperation with a highly capable evacuation team from the Custer County Sheriff’s Office.”

The 19-year-old was stuck on a rock face beneath a ledge. When crews located him, they determined there was no way to safely insert a jack to free him.

Courtesy of the Idaho Army National Guard

The flight crew quickly made their way to nearby Stanley Airport and picked up a rope team from the Custer County Search and Rescue Unit.

“We were able to get the team about 1,000 feet from the patient using a two-wheeled landing,” said Chief Warrant Officer Theron Cameron, an Idaho Army National Guard UH-60 helicopter pilot.

The team then moved the tourist to a location more conducive to rescue, where the crew could secure the tourist and get him on board the plane.

The plane’s crew took the rescued tourist to Stanley Airport, from where he was transferred to a civilian medical facility.

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