"Mount Terror" Strands Climber 4 Nights

Donn Venema, Jason Schilling and Steve Trent at Terror Basin, three members of a group climbing the Picket Range in Washington's North Cascades. July 2, 2009. An accident and worsening weather caused one member to be stranded in a cave for four days before being rescued. Courtesy Steph Abegg

They don't call it Mount Terror for nothing.

A Corvallis, Ore. man spent five days and four nights stranded in a small crevice on a rock face of the 8,031-foot Seattle-area mountain before a rescue helicopter could reach him.

Jason Schilling, 33, had been scaling the mountain with four friends when one of those friends, Steve Trent, fell and was seriously hurt.

Schilling kept the friend company while the others went for help.

When rescuers finally arrived, bad weather forced them to leave Schilling behind.

Schilling told "Early Show Saturday Edition" substitute co-anchor Jeff Glor Trent fell about 60 feet, broke his left leg and shattered his heel, and suffered head trauma, "so, it was pretty much out of the question that he could continue climbing. (He was) in need of some immediate attention. We kind of stabilized him, assessed his injuries and made sure he wasn't going to fall off the mountain."

The others in the climbing party phoned for help and were able to leave, but Schilling stayed behind with Trent.

"It was a tricky evacuation" when rescuers got there for Trent, Schilling told Glor. "They weren't able to do it until the last possible minute that night. ... They weren't able to pick me up because it was too late. And by the time they got around to coming in the next morning, weather had moved in. so I had to hang out and wait for the next weather window."

Schilling had a backpack, supplies and a radio but says, "At first, I was a little panicky. It was pretty tight. I could roll over on my side and kind of wedge myself. ... After a couple of days, you know, I was staring at the wall the whole time and it was -- it was interesting!"

Steph Abegg, another member of the climbing party, told Glor Trent is home, facing "a two-month recovery. ... But he's already planning on his next climb, which is scheduled for two months from the incident. So he's in good spirits!"


For photos from the expedition visit Steph Abegg's Web site.
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