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Climber Rescued From Pine Creek Canyon in Zion

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avatar Climber Rescued From Pine Creek Canyon in Zion
May 05, 2010 04:56AM
Zion National Park (UT)
Climber Rescued From Pine Creek Canyon

Park dispatch received a report of a climber in distress in Pine Creek Canyon just before 7 p.m. on April 30th. The caller said that a member of his canyoneering party had lost control during the final 100 feet of a rappel and was hanging upside down and unable to right himself. Rangers immediately recognized that this was a life threatening situation. A hasty team responded to a gallery window in the Zion-Mt. Carmel tunnel, where two rangers were lowered to the climber. The rangers were able to get him right side up and connect him to the rescue system. Personnel in the tunnel window then raised all three to a safe location. From initial report to completion of the rescue took just 56 minutes. The fast response is credited with saving the man’s life. Only one person in the party of eight finished the last rappel; due to darkness and the inexperience of the climbers, it was determined that raising all party members to the tunnel window was the appropriate course of action. One lane of traffic was closed in the tunnel for rescue vehicles. A large haul team was required to raise the seven members of climbing party and their two rescuers through five raising evolutions. Nineteen park personnel participated in the operation. The IC was ranger Andrew Fitzgerald.
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