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Help: Jeff Lodico aka slimshady

Threads related to Colorado mountaineering accidents but please keep it civil and respectful. Friends and relatives of fallen climbers will be reading these posts.
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Re: Help: Jeff Lodico aka slimshady

Postby Perea » Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:58 am

Hi Everyone really sad morning. I wanted to share some of the details of what happened over the weekend. Myself, Sean, and Jeff(Slim Shady) left Thursday night for the Elks to help our friend Michael (SHOGUN) finish his final two 14ers he had left before his baby boy is born later this month. We arrived at the Conundrum TH late Thursday night and climbed Conundrum on Friday morning before making our way Friday afternoon to the Lead King TH for the S Ridge on Snowmass. Slim had stayed on Conundrum to go for Cathedral while we thought the conditions were not right for the traverse with the recent snow and headed down. Slim showed up to the Lead King TH later that night about 10pm we asked "how did it go"? He said he had turned around mid way through the traverse on a sketchy section.

We all hung around the campfire before going to sleep with the agreement of a 6 am start. Saturday morning we hit the trail at 6am. We had a nice pace and weather was good as Slim led the way while he played his music on the earphones. I had done this route before so I knew where to break off the trail to get to the first gulley to access the ridge. As we got closer to the turnoff Slim was about 100 yards ahead I was behind him and yelled to get his attention but he did not hear with the music and kept going. We stood there for a couple minutes hoping he would realize and turn around which he didn't so we continued assuming he will realize soon enough and would catch us. While we put on our helmets at the base of the gulley we saw him furhter north across the boulder field about half a mile. We waived at him and think he saw us as he was walking back toward us so we started up the gulley moving slowly and trying not to kick any rocks on each other. We waited at the top of the gulley had a 15 minute break while we kept waiting for Slim. He never showed so we didn't know if maybe he went up the 2nd gulley or another way. At this point my mind was on climbing at the recent snow made for some really difficult conditions. We climbed for hours sticking to mainly to the ridge while dropping down from time to time all the while looking back to see if Slim was behind us. We did not see him all day and assumed he may have just turned back. We summited what what we all agreed on was probably one of the most dangerous days we have had in the mountains and hung out up there in perfect weather celebrating Michael's finisher but at the same time we knew it was going to be tough to get down. We decided to go down the much dreaded west slopes because we did not want to downclimb the ridge with conditions. We made it down without incident all exhausted mentally and physically and back to the car we were hoped we would see Slim's truck gone or him sitting around camp.

When we saw his truck there we began to worry but not too much yet. We knew he had a habbit of splitting from his team and I said he will show up in an hour or two. We waited and nothing. Sean agreed to stay with my SPOT and hit the help button at 7pm if he did not show while Michael and I went to town to call the sheriff and give them a heads up. At 8:30 pm Sean was instructed to hit the SOS button if he did not show which sends an emergency signal to the authorities. Michael and I made calls in Carbondale and got dinner and really began to worry. I spoke with the Gunnison County several times during dinner. At 8:30 we got the SOS and our hearts dropped. We were torn between staying in Carbondale where there is cell service or going back up to be with Sean and try to locate Slim. We kind of wandered around for a couple hours until I got a call from the sheriff that said some campers at Gem Lake heard screams for help near the summit of Snowmass. So we went to 7/11 at midnight and gased up got more water and bananas/snacks and headed back up to the Lead King TH. Before leaving though I had been in contact with Jon Kedrowski who volunteered to help us in the morning. We drove up and about 1am we see car lights coming down as we were driving up. It was Sean driving down. He was panicing thinking maybe we were not getting the SPOT messages. We told him we got the messages and the rescue team would be up at first light. Michael and I drove back up while Sean was about out of gas and had to go to Carbondale to gas up and would return later in the night. Michael and I both spent physically and mentally at this point knew there was no other choice than to hike the 4 miles back up to try to locate Slim for the rescue team to get him at first light. We eventually made it to Gem Lake and saw two tents. The campers came out of their tents and made a fire for us as it was pretty cold. They told us where Slim was and that they had been in contact with him yelling up 2500 ft up the West Slopes of Snowmass to see if he was ok. He yelled back I'm not hurt just stuck. They also heard two thunderous rock slides that sent echos through the basin but Slim was still talking to them after that so he was not affected by the slides. We thought a rock had fallen on his leg and trapped him and knew if he could make it until daybreak SAR could get him. I could of swore but I could be wrong he was about 13,900 ft near the summit ridge. We contemplated going up but one of the campers talked us out of it and I knew I did not have the strength to go up on an empty stomach and no sleep after climbing all day and would probably have to be rescued also. I threw down a sleeping bag and curled up in it shivering until help arrived in the morning. I could not imagine how cold Slim was up high on the mountain. I knew if he survived the night he had a good chance. Sun came up and no SAR so we went down to make sure they were coming up we ran into Jon Kedrowski. I was so happy to see him knowing he is strong fresh and could get to Slim if anyone could. We talked I showed Jon a picture of where he was and continued down to make sure SAR was coming. We ran into SAR on the way down the road and gave the team more details.

After this it's all hear say but I do know Jon was first to get to Jeff(Slim) at about 12k ft so I'm not sure if he was able to free himself at 13,900 ft from a rock and make his way down where he then fell or what happened. All I know is that this is a very sickening feeling and I pray he pulls through. If anyone knows how we can get ahold of his family or if he even has family let us know. Jeff is a very private person and we did not know much about his personal life. I know there are always lessons to be learned from situations like this and I am beating myself up for letting the team get split up. There will be time to Monday morning quarterback later but right now our focus should be on supporting Jeff and locating his family.

Sorry to be so long winded.
Paul Perea

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Re: Help: Jeff Lodico aka slimshady

Postby emcee smith » Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:04 am

Thanks for the note Paul, my thoughts and prayers are with you all.
"Chug a luggin up one side, glidin down the other, [I'm] a lover of the other side of the hill"

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Re: Help: Jeff Lodico aka slimshady

Postby jmc5040 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:11 am

Thanks for the post Paul, we are all hoping the best for Jeff in his recovery. It's always so much easier to look back and wish you had done things differently so try not to beat yourself up about it too much.
Last edited by jmc5040 on Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
"My senses become heightened and the stresses of life fade with each step I take further from civilization. When I'm in the wilderness my brain and body work seamlessly together to do their finest work - a single flowing track down one of natures high peaks." - Jeremy Jones

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Re: Help: Jeff Lodico aka slimshady

Postby flintster » Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:11 am

Paul (and everyone),

Just got an email from Jeff's manager here at work - he went to the hospital late last night to await Jeff's arrival. Said he is in "critical care but stable." Also said that Jeff's sisters had been contacted.


Your efforts in organizing a rescue probably saved him.

--Randy

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Re: Help: Jeff Lodico aka slimshady

Postby Scott P » Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:36 am

Oh no. Get well soon and you have our thoughts and prayers.
I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.

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Re: Help: Jeff Lodico aka slimshady

Postby fepic1 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:45 am

Thanks Paul for your efforts. Tuff times
Stable is good. Praying for you Jeff

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Re: Help: Jeff Lodico aka slimshady

Postby MountainHiker » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:01 am

jmc5040 wrote:Thanks for the post Paul, we are all hoping the best for Jeff in his recovery. It's always so much easier to look back and wish you had done things differently so try not to beat yourself up about it too much.

Agree.
Paul, I know it must be tough right now.

My thoughts go out to Jeff. Hoping he has a complete recovery.
Red, Rugged, and Rotten: The Elk Range - Borneman & Lampert

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Re: Help: Jeff Lodico aka slimshady

Postby Boggy B » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:03 am

Jeff, no surprise you survived a cold night on the mountain. Pull through this, brother, we've got to make some more night runs on the ice! I don't think anyone's repeated "Retard's Traverse" after our FA.. :lol:

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Re: Help: Jeff Lodico aka slimshady

Postby wildlobo71 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:37 am

Jeff, keep up the inner strength that got you through this ordeal thus far... Full recovery and to borrow from James, Godspeed.
Bill W.
Yes, I have my Scotch.

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Re: Help: Jeff Lodico aka slimshady

Postby Mel McKinney » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:54 am

Paul,
Thanks for sharing this story. I wish for a full and speedy recovery for Jeff. What amazing inner strength you have Jeff.
Mountains cast spells on me - Why, because of the way Earth-heaps lie, should I be Chocked by joy mysteriously; stilled or drunken-gay? Why should a brown hill trail Tug at my feet to go? Why should a boggy swale Tune my heart to a nameless tale Mountain marshes know?
--- Belle Turnbull ("Mountain-Mad")

"Nothing is so embarrassing as watching someone do something that you said couldn't be done."
---Sam Ewing

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Re: Help: Jeff Lodico aka slimshady

Postby sgladbach » Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:45 am

Good energy / blessings to you Jeff (and all those who are suffering anxiety over the accident.) You've already passed through a lot of the toughest part; the whole community is willing you a complete recovery.

Steve
"We knocked the bastard off." Hillary, 1953
"It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves." Hillary, 2003
Couldn't we all use 50 years of humble growth?

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Re: Help: Jeff Lodico aka slimshady

Postby Boggy B » Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:07 pm

Jeff is in the CCU in critical condition. The nurse said he's not able to receive visitors right now. The hospital is in contact with his family, and they'll need to give permission once he's ready for visitors. Left my contact info, hoping for a positive word soon.

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