Carrying the litter up or down the canyon would have taken too much time and manpower. If you know the Black Hole you'll understand what a nightmare that would be. Hauling out was a straight shot on good rock. Calling the chopper was the sheriff's thing. We were glad he did because we would have had to do another 300 feet of hauling of the patient and several SAR's. I didn't examine the ankle and I haven't heard what the ER found. We were originally going to haul without the litter and let the patient do some of the work, but the EMT's (intermediate EMT's) vetoed that and insisted on the litter. You're definitely right about the expense. I don't know if or how the agencies intend to recover the cost. Free online calendar with sync to Outlook(TM).