Climber rescued after injuring self near Emigrant Lake

ASHLAND, Ore.– Firefighters rescued a woman Saturday after she injured herself while rock climbing near Emigrant Lake.

Elena Bianchi, 35, spoke with NBC5 News and said she was attempting to put in her first bolt when she slipped and fell nearly ten feet. Due to the fall, she ended up breaking her tailbone after landing on a rock. For a moment, she remembered thinking she might not be able to walk.

Bianchi said she was with other climbers when the accident happened and they were able to make the call to first responders for a rescue.

Jackson County Fire District #5 says the call came in around noon. Their crews and crews from Ashland Fire and Rescue both responded and worked together to build a rope system that helped lower Bianchi to a nearby trail. Crews were then able to carry her down to paramedics who were waiting below.

Jackson County Sheriff’s Office marine unit also responded to help carry gear to the rescue zone.

“They were amazing,” said Bianchi. “For me, it was a little embarrassing because being rescued was not an ideal situation. But it was really cool to see them in action and they were on their game.”

Bianchi says she is grateful for all of the rescuers and other climbers who were there to help. She says it’ll take up to a month and a half to recover but she’ll be back out climbing soon after.

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