On March 18, Bill Lundeen, one of the crew at the historic Tioga Pass Resort, suffered a nasty fall. According to his brother, Lundeen was enjoying a day off by touring solo along the edge of the Dana Plateau above Ellery Bowl -- considered one of the most beautiful areas in California's high country. He was fully aware of the cornices formed by winter storms and was skinning up well back from the edge. Alas, not far enough.
The massive cornice above the Chute-out Couloir gave way, taking Lundeen along for the ride. He tumbled several hundred feet and, when the avalanche stopped, was left with eight broken ribs, a punctured lung (hemo/pneumothorax), a broken fibula on the right leg, trashed ligaments in both knees, and a shattered right shoulder blade.
With only a left arm fully functional, Lundeen dragged himself over the snow for several hours to reach the Tioga Pass Road, which is closed in the winter. Fortunately, another employee went looking for him on a snowmobile and found Lundeen just before dark.
Unfortunately, like many who live the outdoor lifestyle, Lundeen was uninsured. The shoulder surgery alone took nine hours and he is likely to need surgery on both knees, not to mention months of rehab. A longtime climber from Tucson, Ariz., and well-known in the Eastern Sierra region, the local community is lending support.
SNEWSÂ® wishes Lundeen a speedy and complete recovery. A fund has been established to help defray costs and fund-raisers are being planned by friends on the Eastside. Tioga Pass Resort has long been a popular destination with the outdoor industry and donations of cash or goods for fund-raiser auctions would be appreciated.
Â Â Â Make checks payable to:
Â Â Â Tucson Federal Credit Union
Â Â Â P.O. Box 42435, Tucson, AZ 85733
Â Â Â On reference line include: acct #55407-2, Bill Lundeen
ContactÂ firstname.lastname@example.org to make donations for auctions.