1 Guide Dead, 5 Climbers Hurt in 4 Separate Mount Shasta Climbing Incidents

The four climbing incidents happened in the Avalanche Gulch area on Mount Shasta, the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office said

Authorities near Mount Shasta following multiple climbing incidents.
Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office

A climbing guide died and five other climbers were injured in four separate climbing incidents on Mount Shasta within a roughly 24-hour period, according to officials.

The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office said all four incidents occurred between Monday morning and Tuesday morning amid "unstable conditions" in the area of Avalanche Gulch on the Northern California mountain, California's fifth tallest at 14,180 feet.

The first incident was reported at 8:35 a.m. Monday, the sheriff's office said. Two climbers and a guide – all tethered together – were ascending the mountain above Helen Lake when one of the climbers lost their footing, causing the trio to fall. They slid on snow and ice, travelling roughly 1,500 to 2,500 vertical feet down the mountain.

The guide, identified as 32-year-old Jillian Elizabeth Webster of Redmond, Oregon, was found unresponsive, the sheriff's office said. She was airlifted to Mercy Medical Center Mt. Shasta where she was later pronounced dead.

One of the climbers, a male, suffered an open fracture on one of his legs and head trauma. The other climber, a female, suffered a lower leg fracture. Both climbers were transported to area hospitals where they are said to be recovering, according to the sheriff's office.

The second incident, reported at 12:31 p.m. Monday, involved a male climber who fell roughly 1,000 vertical feet from a location above Helen Lake, according to the sheriff's office. He was hurt, but his injuries weren't considered critical. He was also airlifted to Mercy Medical Center Mount Shasta.

The third incident was reported at 4 p.m. Monday, the sheriff's office said. A female, who was initially climbing with the male who fell in the second incident, lost traction and slid approximately 1,000 vertical feet down the mountain. The sheriff's office said she was injured but didn't provide any further details about her condition.

The fourth incident, which happened Tuesday morning, left a male climber with non-life threatening injuries, the sheriff's office said. He was transported to a hospital.

The sheriff's office has asked any future climbers to check with U.S. Forest Service climbing rangers before attempting to ascend the mountain.

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