Officials had a busy day on Thursday, August 15 on Mount Shasta as they performed two search and rescue missions for climbers in a matter of hours. One of the incidents included a woman falling 30 feet down a crevasse, and with a stroke of luck, is still alive to tell her story.
31-year-old Abiline Bushong was descending down the mountain the Siskiyou Peaks Trail near Whitney Glacier when she slipped and fell down the deep crevasse. Luckily, she landed on a shelf where she had cell phone service. She was able to alert authorities and get rescued in a short matter of time.
Here’s Bushong’s account of the incident as told to author Aria Zoner:
“Yesterday was the most intense day of my entire life. I fell 20-30ft into the crevasse and landed on a small shelf surrounded by three ice tunnels. They were black, and if I’d gone down them, I never would have come out. Somehow I had cell service in the crevasse. Everything that happened was a miracle. It’s an experience I will never forget. My appreciation for wilderness is greater than it has ever been. And as for the trail, it was amazing!”
According to Zoner, Bushong had descended down the wrong route.
“I knew she’d gone down Whitney Glacier, and that the picture was showing Shastina on the left, instead of the right as it should’ve been,” wrote Zoner. “To understand, clockwise around the mountain, Whitney Glacier sits at 11 o’clock, while the West Face, the correct route, is at 8. Casaval Ridge, where it turns out she was rescued, sits at 7 o’clock.”
Bushong’s story is a testament to the dangers of climbing Mount Shasta and respecting the power of the wilderness. Although her fall was unfortunate, she was extremely lucky that the incident played out the way it did. Many times, these situations are tragic.