Stranded, Climbing Unroped, California, Joshua Tree National Monument

Publication Year: 1987.


California, Joshua Tree National Monument

On October 20,1986, around noon, Paul Manini (22) became stranded while “free solo” climbing on top of a large rock formation at Live Oak Picnic Area.

About 1340 Manini sent his brother Mike to obtain assistance. M. Manini located Resource Management Specialist Carol Robertson, who radioed for any available JOSAR unit. I responded to the call and took the information. I was at Intersection Rock with one team from the Technical Rescue Seminar; this team, consisting of five instructors and five students, responded to Live Oak. Instructors Ric Backus and Drew Davis scrambled to Manini’s position, then belayed students Jerry Despres and Jim Jennings up. Anchors were set at the top while instructor Robert Turan maintained contact with the subject and placed him in a climbing harness and helmet. Manini was then lowered approximately 12 meters to the ground. (Source: Mary Tober, Ranger, Joshua Tree National Monument)

(Editor’s Note: Joshua Tree National Monument has become a popular climbing area. It has very accessible rock, and climbing activity easy to see. While we don’t know if this victim—from Brooklyn, New York—is a climber or just someone who saw the activity and decided to try it out, we know the latter potential is there. The April 19 accident reported earlier is another example.)