We planned to ski the North Couloir on Emerson in a party of 4. Arrived at the base of the couloir around 0900 and found another party of 3 just starting up the route. We followed shortly, starting our climb around 0915. One member of the party ahead of us bailed and we caught up with the remaining two. Shortly after we were hit by falling ice chunks (up to softball size) from above and identified a waterfall about 800' up the couloir on the climbers right side as the source.
We decided to continue climbing and that if a similar incident happened a second time we would bail on the ascent. Communication of this decision within the group was imperfect due to group dynamics and being somewhat spread out across the couloir. We regrouped in a protected area below a rock on the climbers left and began climbing as a team while the other party of two continued one to two hundred feet above us.
Some time around 1000 when we were about 50 feet below the waterfall on the climbers left, the waterfall shed more ice and hit our group directly. We estimate that some of the ice chunks were microwave sized. After the incident one member of the party was clearly uncomfortable. We quickly determined that this party member was A&O x1 and incapable of climbing further or descending on skis.
The SOS feature on a Garmin InReach device was activated. Two party members continued climbing to get up above the hazard where they were able to transition and one skied down the couloir to initiate SAR while another party member assisted the injured member down the couloir. Over the next 15 minutes the injured member's mental status was reassessed as A&O x4 and they complained of neck, shoulder, and hip pain.
Over the next 90 minutes the two party members descended 800' down the couloir to a safe zone on the apron while the party member above watched the waterfall for further shedding. The waterfall shed at least 4 times during this period including one time when significant amounts of large ice fell down the couloir.
InyoSAR initiated helicopter resources but estimated that they would not be in the area until 1300 at the earliest. Given that the injured member had been assessed as being clear of cervical spine injury we made the decision to self evacuate. We were able to return the trailhead in Aspendell around 1530 and the Garmin InReach SOS was cancelled.
After seeking professional medical attention at Northern Inyo Hospital and being flown to Renown the injured party member was found to have a fractured C1 vertebrae.
Another member of the party had a lacerated ear lobe which required 4 stitches.
3 out of 4 helmets worn by our party were destroyed.
Times are estimated based on photo timestamps, GPS tracks, and Garmin InReach tracking (which had been in use prior to SOS).