Among the more legitimate reasons for not summiting a volcano is basophobia, the scientific term for a fear of falling that is present to some degree in nearly all mammals, save for Evel Knieval and King Kong. The fear became a reality for a hiker in Crater Lake National Park this week. According to a report in CBS News, the man plummeted 800 feet off a cliff into the caldera of the dormant volcano in southern Oregon that holds Crater Lake.
The man miraculously lived to tell about it, albeit with injuries. But his rescue was no easy task — rescuers from the District 3 rope team, who are trained to perform technical evacuations in emergency situations by rappelling down cliffs, descended 600 feet into the caldera in an attempt to reach him. After they were unable to reach the man, a helicopter from the US Coast Guard was called in and was able to hoist the man out of the caldera and transport him to a hospital in Bend for treatment of his injuries.
“The District 3 team reported they could hear a man yelling from further down into the caldera,” said the US Coast Guard Pacific Northwest in a release on Facebook. “The aircrew was hovering above the injured man within 15 minutes of arriving on scene and conducted the hoist before landing in a nearby parking lot and transferring the injured man to the AirLink helicopter crew.”
The man’s specific injuries are unknown, but he was able to walk following his rescue. In response to the events, Crater Lake National Park’s social media team offered thanks via Facebook to both the US Coast Guard and District 3 rope team for their role in the evacuation.