my friend and i were ice climbing in there last year and had to virtually rescue a whole day camp out on a "liesurely hike" in february. one kid fell near the falls and broke his leg and had a concussion. the "leader" was stuck on one of the amphitheatre's flanks and the rest of the kids were in various stages of needing some kind of aid/help.after about an hour or so, all kids were lowered to the ground.
miraculously, we got cell reception and a "rescue" was begun. first on scene(hour later) was a state trooper who almost killed himself as he slip slided his way to us up the icy trail. he then produced a space blanket that, when deployed, simply disintegrated like someone blowing on a dandelion! my belay jacket came out of my pack and i knew at that moment i'd never see it again, knowing rescue personnel and their penchant for cutting clothing off people. (i understand why they do it). the trooper then stated that ambulance and fire personnel were at the trailhead but needed help getting the gear to the scene. my friend and i took off for the trailhead and made several trips back and forth shuttling gear and personnel for the next 2 hours. finally, someone showed up with a bag of 4 point crampons and we began to aid in getting everyone (15 strong at this point) outfitted for the haul out. at this point the kid's on a backboard and really shivering. i figured "ok, lets grab him and go!" next thing i know ropes and pulleys and all sorts of gear starts being pulled out of various packs and they started discussing how to get the victim out of there! my friend and i shot each other a confused look. "timeout--we got a f@#$ing
trail right here! what the...?" they wound up lowering the victim down to the creek and walking out that way! we were stunned! 4 hours from phone call to ambulance! not good! i got a call from the group leader a few days later and he said the kid would be fine(after some screws/plates were installed). also reimbersed me for the jacket,which was nice. oh yeah, what i meant to say was "take some form of crampon"!