Search and rescue kept busy in Desolation Wilderness |

Search and rescue kept busy in Desolation Wilderness

A 20-year-old South Lake Tahoe woman had to be extracted from a small rocky gorge Sunday, after she fell from the top of Glen Alpine Upper Falls.

El Dorado County Sheriff’s search and rescue team found Hope Ballachey around 4:15 p.m., at the base of the falls, surrounded by about 30 feet of vertical rock. Ballachey told rescuers that she had accidentally jumped off a rock ledge and tried to make it to a pool of water 15 feet away. She missed, landing on rocks and severely cutting her lower leg.

Rescuers stabilized Ballachey in a litter and then through a system of ropes raised the woman out of the gorge, deputies said.

The operation was just one of four last weekend in and near the Desolation Wilderness. On Saturday, rescuers responded to a cell phone call from Horsetail Falls – a 12-year-old boy who had fallen 30 feet into the falls. The boy was scraped up and bruised, but able to walk out on his own. Later that day, around 6:20 p.m., a man reported his hiking companion as missing and injured.

Scott M. Pogoda was hiking Mt. Tallac and injured his knee at the summit, deputies said. On the return trip Pogoda walked slow and his companion lost sight of him. Pogoda was found by the Fallen Leaf Lake Fire Department around 7:15 p.m. at the Lily Lake trailhead. Rescuers transported him to the Mt. Tallac trailhead parking area.

On Sunday, a woman was found one-quarter of a mile up the Glen Alpine trail. Christine Fritz was camping illegally in the area, and had fallen and hit her head, deputies reported. Hikers heard her calling for help and contacted the Fallen Leaf Lake Fire Department. The woman was transported to Barton Memorial Hospital, and her dog was taken by animal control officers.

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