South Lake Tahoe Man Rescued from Monkey Face - wrong descent and ran out of rope

by Placerville Newswire / Jun 24, 2016 / comments

Two California men climbing the popular Monkey Face formation at Smith Rock State Park became stranded when they chose a wrong descent route and one ran out of rope halfway down Wednesday afternoon, prompting a rescue operation that took until after midnight to conclude, Deschutes County sheriff’s deputies said.

Shortly before 5 p.m., Cordero Chavez, 29, of Lone Pine, California, contacted 911 dispatchers to say he and his climbing partner, Tyler Coleman, 26, of South Lake Tahoe, had reached the summit of Monkey Face but now were in need of assistance, said sheriff’s Lt. Bryan Husband.

The pair had chosen the wrong route to descent, leaving not enough rope to reach the bottom, Husband said. Chavez was still near the summit, but Coleman was nearly halfway down the approximately 450-foot rock face, unable to ascend or descend further...

"The fact that they were able to summit Monkey Face by themselves leads me to identify them as more than beginners," he said, adding that "this was their first time climbing Monkey Face."

Husband said the sheriff’s office “would like to remind those recreating, whether it be at Smith Rock State Park or in the backcountry, to research and pre-plan your chosen location to minimize risk.”

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