Howard D. Hill, 36, telephone installer-repairman, helped to save Clayton E. Toensing, 18, student, from falling, Squaw Valley, California, July 7, 1965. Toensing accompanied by a girl and a boy started to descend from atop Granite Chief Peak, which sloped at angles of 55 to 75 degrees. The boy lost his footing, and he slid and fell 260 feet to the bottom, sustaining multiple fractures. While continuing his descent, Toensing also slipped and fell but landed without injury on a small ledge 200 feet above the base of the cliff. The girl made her way to the bottom and summoned help. Hill and Kenneth W. Terry followed rescue crews to the base of the cliff. They saw Toensing on the ledge, which was 230 feet below the top. Taking with them a rope 250 feet long, Hill and Terry made their way to the top of the cliff, where they found two other men who had tied a 200 foot rope to a tree. Hill and Terry attached their rope to the one secured to the tree. While the others held the rope, Hill descended on it to a ledge two feet wide and five feet long 10 feet vertically above the ledge on which Toensing stood. Terry then also descended to the ledge by using the rope. He held the legs of Hill, who moved to the edge, peered over, and saw Toensing but could not reach him. Terry moved forward, enabling Hill to move over the edge to his waist. He could reach Toensing but could not get a secure hold. Hill moved back onto the ledge. He formed a loop with a slipknot in the end of the rope. While Terry held his legs as before, Hill reached over the edge and maneuvered the rope to around Toensing’s chest. Hill held to the rope with one hand, grasped Toensing by the wrist, and inched slowly back on the ledge. Toensing was unable to help himself and was dead weight. When Hill was back from the edge, Terry released his legs and pulled on the rope with both hands. Working slowly and with extreme caution, they drew Toensing onto the upper ledge. After resting briefly, they used the rope to fashion a sling about Toensing and by it lowered him to persons at the bottom of the cliff. By that time it was dark. Hill and then Terry descended the rope hand over hand, each experiencing difficulty during the final 60 feet, where the face of the cliff was concave and provided no footing.
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