MAZAMA — A 53-year-old Olympia man was rescued Saturday after falling about 50 feet from the North Early Winters Spire, near Liberty Bell.
John Ewen was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where he was in satisfactory condition this morning, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Ewen and three other climbers were nearing the summit of the spire when he fell at about 11 a.m., Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers said. He received a large cut on his forehead, and also injured his ankle and thumb in the fall.
Other climbers called for help on a radio, and were able to reach rescuers who were on standby for a mountain bike race on Cuthroat Pass nearby, Rogers said.
Ewen’s climbing partners splinted his ankle and thumb, and bandaged his head, and were able to get him down a couple of rappel pitches to meet the rescue team, the sheriff said.
Rescuers, including a deputy, Aero Methow Rescue and Outward Bound employees, lowered him down two more pitches — about 500 feet — to a site where a helicopter with hoisting capability could meet them.
At about 6:15 p.m., a King County Sheriff’s Office rescue helicopter brought him to the trauma center.
Rogers said this was the fourth rescue from the Methow Valley area this month, with others on Liberty Bell, Glacier Pass and White Lake near Winthrop.