Injured hiker being lifted into copter. Photo by Marshall Smith

Karen Gose, 27 of Chino, died of injuries sustained while descending a sheer face of Suicide Rock in Idyllwild’s San Jacinto wilderness. Gose, reportedly a counselor with a church camp, fell 30 feet during a rappelling demonstration, onto a rock ledge.


CAL FIRE/Riverside County Fire Department responded, as did Idyllwild Fire Protection District, although IFPD did not participate in the rescue.

The reported time of injury was 12:41. CAL FIRE Copter 301 lowered a medic to the rock ledge. He attended to the woman and prepared her for a helicopter hoist. She complained of difficulty breathing and was thought to have had a broken hip and possible rib damage. At approximately 2:50 p.m. she was hoisted into the helicopter. The copter circled and returned for a hoist of the medic.

At approximately 3:04 p.m. attending personnel transferred Gose into a Mercy Air helicopter for transport to Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs. She died en route, with time of death listed as 3:21 p.m.

CAL FIRE medic being lifted into copter. Copter began leaving site while medic still dangling because of urgent condition of Gose. Photo by Marshall Smith


CALFIRE, Mercy Air and Riverside County Fire all work desperately as an injured hiker goes into full cardiac arrest on the helipad as Mercy Air prepares to trasport the patient to Desert Regional Medical Center. Photo by Jenny Kirchner