September 4, 1958: YH-40 Helicopter Rescue

  • Published
  • Air Force Flight Test Center

An Air Force Flight Test Center crew, using a Bell YH-40 helicopter undergoing testing at Edwards Air Force Base, rescued a seriously injured mountain climber from Iceberg Lake in the High Sierras near Bishop, California. The helicopter, a predecessor of the HU-1A Huey, was the first to be equipped with a gas turbine engine and had been tested in the Sierras at heights up to 16,000 feet prior to the rescue flight.

Cradled below a jagged ridge of volcanic peaks called the Minarets, Iceberg Lake is a beautiful, potentially snow-bordered or ice-filled lake of vivid blue water. The backcountry lake is located deep in the Ansel Adams Wilderness of Inyo National Forest, 8.3 miles from the trailhead at Agnew Meadows. Iceberg Lake is just a mile from Ediza Lake and a nice extension for the hike to that outstanding lake. Backpackers camping at Ediza Lake can put on a light pack for a quick hike up to Iceberg Lake as a way to explore more of this breathtaking area of the Sierra. While short, Iceberg Lake Trail is steep in spots, ascending just over 500 feet above Ediza Lake.

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