HomeNewsCalifornia Man Survives 75 Foot Fall from Mountain Tramway

California Man Survives 75 Foot Fall from Mountain Tramway

by Josh Lanier
(Photo by Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

A California man walked away with only minor injuries after he plunged more than 75 feet from a mountain.

The man, who authorities didn’t identify, climbed over a rail at the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway over the weekend. The tramway stretches 2.5 miles over the scenic Sonoran Desert in California, beginning near the summit of Mt. San Jacinto some 5,000 feet up. An employee of a restaurant at the mountain’s peak called police after he saw the man jump the rail, slip on a patch of ice, and fall, Los Angles Timese reported.

He tumbled 75 feet into a ravine and landed on a large patch of ice. He was OK, but that made it impossible for a Riverside County Sheriff’s Department helicopter to reach him. Instead, California firefighters rappelled down to him with a Stokes basket — a stretcher used in emergency rescues.

Somehow, he didn’t get seriously injured in the fall and declined any medical treatment. After his rescue, the man and a friend rode the tramway down and he left.

Officials are trying to piece together what happened. It’s not clear why he climbed the rail.

Greg Purdy, a spokesperson for the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, said this was a rare event. “People don’t normally jump the fence,” he told SF Gate.

Arizona Hiker Dies After Fall From Mountain

An Arizona hiker wasn’t as lucky when he fell from the Flatiron Peak in the Lost Dutchman State Park last month.

Richard Jacobson, 21, and a friend marched miles into the park the peak, a popular tourist destination. At some point, he veered off the trail to take a photo and slipped. Rescuers found his body 700 feet below where he fell.

“He slipped and fell,” said Pinal County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Doug Peoble, according to a report. “I can tell you that during our investigation, there [were] no signs of foul play. No signs of drug use whatsoever. It was just a very tragic accident.”

It’s unclear what caused him to fall.

A former friend of Jacobson said he was “one of those guys everyone loved.” Andrew Thomas spent several months with him on a missionary trip in 2020.

“It’s sad to lose him, but we know that it’s not the end,” Thomas told the Arizona Republic newspaper. “We’re going to see him again.”

Thomas said Jacobson was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed spending time in nature.

“He was just my companion in that sense,” said Thomas. “I spent all my waking hours with Richard, so I got to know him pretty well. … He was an outdoorsman, hunter, hiker. He did stuff like that, so I guess he did die doing what he loved to do, just in a tragic way.”