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Boss Hog Accident, 03/31/12

Discussion in 'Archives - Yahoo Canyons Group' started by Rick, Apr 2, 2012.

  1. Rick

    Rick Guest

    Our group warmed up Friday with a quick four man scamper through Monkee Business, which was fun, and uncharacteristically dry. Saturday morning, picking up three more canyoneers, we headed for the Hogs, the access road being the worst I have ever seen, markedly worse than last year, which had been a significant low point up until then. Why is it the county roads folks only want to grade cowpaths, yet can't be bothered to maintain the well used actual roads they have? Sorry, off point, and in fact the rocky streambed section of the road out to the Poison Springs had been recently bladed, as of Sunday. We rallied up the road in two Jeeps, and dropped in to Boss Hog, the weather being sunny and clear, but with gusting winds. We had little trouble with the always interesting tight hairpin corner drop off, and then the slide to the deck which follows, and were working on the next corner pinch downclimb, with 4 people down, and I was spotting number five. I had just guided his feet to the first big foothold two feet down on the left, my hand was still on the left foot, when somehow, inexplicably, he lost his grip on the handline. In another couple of seconds I would have stepped back from the wall to point out the next step for the right foot, with a hand near his back or butt, and could have pinned him against the wall had he come loose. But at the moment he came off the hand line I was close to the wall and my hands were on his feet, so his body pivoted from his feet, which were solid, and I was unable to stop him as he went flying over my shoulder, falling some 6 feet, and landing on his back on a crossing rib of stone on the canyon floor. It was immediately clear that he had suffered serious injury, which he was concious to confirm in his pain, to one of the earlier people down, now the newly attendant, RN. The pain radiated from his back in the area of his right hip, our early diagnosis was a possible broken back and or hip. Pain on movement, on a scale of 1-10 was an 11. The patients position of choice was a loose fetal position on one side, so we padded and insulated the suspected damaged area underneath with a pair of neoprene shorts, put a stocking cap on his head, an extra sweatshirt over him, and an emergency space blanket over the top, carefully tucked in all around. It was decided that the fastest way out was to go back up, so a strong 3 man team, actually two guys and a girl, headed out to call for help- it was clear a technical evacuation was going to be needed. I helped get them back up the crux, the tight hairpin corner dropoff, no mean feat, especially for the large framed 6'4" 220 lb plus member of the group, and they were then off on their own, climbing up the drop in above, with their packs, something hours later I would come to a greater appreciation of, as I did the same. They drove clear back to Sandthrax, dropping one man there to collect gear and additional headlamps, and headed for Hanksville, not getting cell phone service until they were within a mile of town. The first response from the service 911 connected them with was that they would send out an ambulance right away. After much further explanation, about the location, roads, and need for a technical high angle rescue team, the gears started moving to gather the needed personnel from multiple distant locations and counties. No offense is intended if our groups rough and very loose time line is less than right on, perhaps an official report will later have a more accurate record, but the fall took place at 10:30 am, we spent about half an hour evaluating the situation and in initial treatment of the patient, the three canyoneer go for help team left about 11:00, reached the cars at roughly noon, the first phone contact with authorities may have been sometime about 1:00. It was close to 2:30 when the phone duo had made a rendezvous with the first responders and made it back to camp to pick up the gear and the third member, and then maybe 300 or 330 when they started to collect at the trailhead with other early responders. A helicopter from Page, AZ landed and took on one of the canyoneers to locate the injured party, but from the air the canyons just looked like a bunch of squiggly lines, and they were unable to locate the in canyon group from above. The canyon group was tremendously frustrated by the helicopters multiple high passes and it occurred to me that we should have also spotted one person on the rim above the patient to facilitate their location. The chopper ran low on gas, dropped off the spotter, and headed off to refuel, only to subsequently be pulled off on another, higher priority call, leaving the rescue air supportless. Having figured out what had happened when the helicopter left, tremendously frustrated in still having no one contact us from the rim, and foreseeing the oncoming loss of daylight, shortly after 5 pm I decided to leave the stabilized patient with his wife in the canyon and climb out with the other canyoneer in the group to meet the rescuers, and pinpoint the spot on the rim over the accident. Shortly after exiting, and determining that location, the first group of rescuers arrived on scene at the rim. After some consultation, the decision was made to send the 2 EMTs present, notably Duke Alvey and his wife Jessica, the proprietors of Stans Chevron and Burger Shack in Hanksville, down into the canyon to attend to the patient, led by two of the original climb out group canyon team. Experienced Boss Hoggers can appreciate the pluck and determination of this non canyoneering EMT team, with their huge packs and loads of gear, in volunteering to climb down into the canyon; it took a heroic effort just to get to the patient, and needless to say, it took them awhile to get there. Kudos also to the two canyoneers who volunteered to go back down with them, assisting the EMTs, knowing in doing so they were commiting to climb back up out of the canyon a second time, no small piece of work either. Standing on the sidelines at this point, trying to remain close enough to keep up with what was going on without being in the way of the gathering rescue team, it seemed to take forever as the personnel, officials and volunteer SAR team members, and pieces were assembled, trickling in from distant locations, spread over at least two counties, Wayne and Garfield, including NPS personnel from Lake Powell, who were at Hite when the call came in. Not being able to list all of the people, or knowing where they all came from, we were never the less grateful for each and every one of them and the roles they each played in the rescue, we counted at least 33 people who participated, not including the original helicopter crew or the original canyoneers. As light faded, and the vortex was assembled and bolted down right on the lip of the canyon wall, I was alarmed to hear the comment that if we were in a national park jurisdiction the rescue would be postponed due to darkness, it was deeply troubling to hear the patient being repeatedly referred to as "stable". Admittedly not a medical practitioner, I was uncomfortable with this description of a 66 year old man, with a possible broken back and or hip, who had been laying in the same spot on the ground in the canyon for 10 hours now. The two attending EMTs had started an IV, so he was receiving fluids and pain meds, but it was still hard for me to consider the "stable" description without cringing. The assembly of the hardware and rigging, with its redundant miles of rope was completed just as daylight was lost, but having it all in place facilitated the headlamp lighted continuation of the rescue. A second helicopter, this time from Provo, had in the meantime been summoned, and arrived on the scene after dark. After circling the scene a couple of times, and surveying the strobed potential LZ on the shoulder inside the canyon, the pilot demurred, and set down instead up on the rim overhead, due to the strong and gusting winds. The team then divided in two, half working on getting the littered patient on up the final 60 ft barrier wall to the chopper, while the balance stayed on the shoulder: extracting the remaining EMTs and the long suffering wife of the patient. It was approximately 10:30, 12 hours after the fall, when the helicopter took off, first to refuel in Richfield, and then on to the hospital in Provo. The patient was still conscious enough to later report that he did not enjoy the ride, as the flight were continuously buffeted by high winds from the passing storm front. The medical report today is extremely positive- the back per se was not broken, 4 "transverse process" bones, or spurs off the vertebrae which protect the spinal cord, were broken on his right side. He is expected to regain full mobility, and to be released in a couple of days, resuming action in maybe a month. Again, many thanks are due to all of the officials and volunteers who lent their time and talents and equipment to this difficult all day extraction effort which continued well after dark, with its attendant complications. In such an obscure location, in the middle of nowhere, it takes a considerable time and effort to gather such a large and diverse group with all of the gear needed to coordinate such an operation. And then some time to put the right people on the right teams, to handle the many different tasks. While in my type A rush rush mind it was at times frustrating to see progress so slow in the making, it was gratifying and very impressive to see it all come together and work as well as it did. A tremendous job done by a wide ranging and colorful cast of characters, who worked well together despite representing multiple different entities. Our hats, or helmets, are off to the folks who have put together, trained, equipped, and coordinated this gang. Thank you all again. rick thompson
  2. RAM

    RAM Guest

    It was suggested to me a few years back....was it Dave, Malia, Penny, others???? to support the folks at the Chevron station over the Hollow Mt folks due to canyoneering connections. Seems those connections just got a lot stronger. I know where my dime is going. Nice work Duke and Jess....and everyone else. Ram

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "Rick" <gone2moab@...> wrote: After some consultation, the decision was made to send the 2 EMTs present, notably Duke Alvey and his wife Jessica, the proprietors of Stans Chevron and Burger Shack in Hanksville, down into the canyon to attend to the patient, led by two of the original climb out group canyon team. Experienced Boss Hoggers can appreciate the pluck and determination of this non canyoneering EMT team, with their huge packs and loads of gear, in volunteering to climb down into the canyon; it took a heroic effort just to get to the patient, and needless to say, it took them awhile to get there.
  3. phil

    phil Guest

    Thanks for sharing the report! Hope healing and decompression for all involved is as painless as possible. I have always supported Stans and will do more so now.

    Phillip

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "RAM" <adkramoo@...> wrote:
    It was suggested to me a few years back....was it Dave, Malia, Penny, others???? to support the folks at the Chevron station over the Hollow Mt folks due to canyoneering connections. Seems those connections just got a lot stronger. I know where my dime is going. Nice work Duke and Jess....and everyone else. > Ram
    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "Rick" <gone2moab@> wrote: > After some consultation, the decision was made to send the 2 EMTs present, notably Duke Alvey and his wife Jessica, the proprietors of Stans Chevron and Burger Shack in Hanksville, down into the canyon to attend to the patient, led by two of the original climb out group canyon team. Experienced Boss Hoggers can appreciate the pluck and determination of this non canyoneering EMT team, with their huge packs and loads of gear, in volunteering to climb down into the canyon; it took a heroic effort just to get to the patient, and needless to say, it took them awhile to get there. >
  4. RAM

    RAM Guest

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "Rick" <gone2moab@...> wrote: We had little trouble with the always interesting tight hairpin corner drop off,

    This is that 8 foot rap/downclimb off the sharp left?

    >>>> and then the slide to the deck which follows, and were working on the next corner pinch downclimb,

    This is often done as a short two stage rap? The first slide of about 12 feet requires a step forward at the last moment to avoid a hole and the 2nd spot where the accident occurred is a slab into a round room. Sliding on the belly one has a left arm to wedge in a groove? This spot is followed by a "hole in the floor" downclimb?

    >>>>>>with 4 people down, and I was spotting number five. I had just guided his feet to the first big foothold two feet down on the left, my hand was still on the left foot, when somehow, inexplicably, he lost his grip on the handline.

    You handline off people or off an anchor above?



    >>>>>> In another couple of seconds I would have stepped back from the wall to point out the next step for the right foot, with a hand near his back or butt, and could have pinned him against the wall had he come loose. But at the moment he came off the hand line I was close to the wall and my hands were on his feet, so his body pivoted from his feet, which were solid, and I was unable to stop him as he went flying over my shoulder,

    Still holding the handline? He lever off it kinda? OUCH! R
  5. cardlaw22

    cardlaw22 Guest

    Yikes..... Thanks for the write-up. Glad everyone is alive and it appears that the injured party will mend.

    Scott Card

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "Rick" <gone2moab@...> wrote:
    Our group warmed up Friday with a quick four man scamper through Monkee Business, which was fun, and uncharacteristically dry. Saturday morning, picking up three more canyoneers, we headed for the Hogs, the access road being the worst I have ever seen, markedly worse than last year, which had been a significant low point up until then. Why is it the county roads folks only want to grade cowpaths, yet can't be bothered to maintain the well used actual roads they have? Sorry, off point, and in fact the rocky streambed section of the road out to the Poison Springs had been recently bladed, as of Sunday. > We rallied up the road in two Jeeps, and dropped in to Boss Hog, the weather being sunny and clear, but with gusting winds. We had little trouble with the always interesting tight hairpin corner drop off, and then the slide to the deck which follows, and were working on the next corner pinch downclimb, with 4 people down, and I was spotting number five. I had just guided his feet to the first big foothold two feet down on the left, my hand was still on the left foot, when somehow, inexplicably, he lost his grip on the handline. In another couple of seconds I would have stepped back from the wall to point out the next step for the right foot, with a hand near his back or butt, and could have pinned him against the wall had he come loose. But at the moment he came off the hand line I was close to the wall and my hands were on his feet, so his body pivoted from his feet, which were solid, and I was unable to stop him as he went flying over my shoulder, falling some 6 feet, and landing on his back on a crossing rib of stone on the canyon floor. It was immediately clear that he had suffered serious injury, which he was concious to confirm in his pain, to one of the earlier people down, now the newly attendant, RN. The pain radiated from his back in the area of his right hip, our early diagnosis was a possible broken back and or hip. Pain on movement, on a scale of 1-10 was an 11. The patients position of choice was a loose fetal position on one side, so we padded and insulated the suspected damaged area underneath with a pair of neoprene shorts, put a stocking cap on his head, an extra sweatshirt over him, and an emergency space blanket over the top, carefully tucked in all around. It was decided that the fastest way out was to go back up, so a strong 3 man team, actually two guys and a girl, headed out to call for help- it was clear a technical evacuation was going to be needed. I helped get them back up the crux, the tight hairpin corner dropoff, no mean feat, especially for the large framed 6'4" 220 lb plus member of the group, and they were then off on their own, climbing up the drop in above, with their packs, something hours later I would come to a greater appreciation of, as I did the same. They drove clear back to Sandthrax, dropping one man there to collect gear and additional headlamps, and headed for Hanksville, not getting cell phone service until they were within a mile of town. The first response from the service 911 connected them with was that they would send out an ambulance right away. After much further explanation, about the location, roads, and need for a technical high angle rescue team, the gears started moving to gather the needed personnel from multiple distant locations and counties. No offense is intended if our groups rough and very loose time line is less than right on, perhaps an official report will later have a more accurate record, but the fall took place at 10:30 am, we spent about half an hour evaluating the situation and in initial treatment of the patient, the three canyoneer go for help team left about 11:00, reached the cars at roughly noon, the first phone contact with authorities may have been sometime about 1:00. It was close to 2:30 when the phone duo had made a rendezvous with the first responders and made it back to camp to pick up the gear and the third member, and then maybe 300 or 330 when they started to collect at the trailhead with other early responders. A helicopter from Page, AZ landed and took on one of the canyoneers to locate the injured party, but from the air the canyons just looked like a bunch of squiggly lines, and they were unable to locate the in canyon group from above. The canyon group was tremendously frustrated by the helicopters multiple high passes and it occurred to me that we should have also spotted one person on the rim above the patient to facilitate their location. The chopper ran low on gas, dropped off the spotter, and headed off to refuel, only to subsequently be pulled off on another, higher priority call, leaving the rescue air supportless. Having figured out what had happened when the helicopter left, tremendously frustrated in still having no one contact us from the rim, and foreseeing the oncoming loss of daylight, shortly after 5 pm I decided to leave the stabilized patient with his wife in the canyon and climb out with the other canyoneer in the group to meet the rescuers, and pinpoint the spot on the rim over the accident. Shortly after exiting, and determining that location, the first group of rescuers arrived on scene at the rim. After some consultation, the decision was made to send the 2 EMTs present, notably Duke Alvey and his wife Jessica, the proprietors of Stans Chevron and Burger Shack in Hanksville, down into the canyon to attend to the patient, led by two of the original climb out group canyon team. Experienced Boss Hoggers can appreciate the pluck and determination of this non canyoneering EMT team, with their huge packs and loads of gear, in volunteering to climb down into the canyon; it took a heroic effort just to get to the patient, and needless to say, it took them awhile to get there. Kudos also to the two canyoneers who volunteered to go back down with them, assisting the EMTs, knowing in doing so they were commiting to climb back up out of the canyon a second time, no small piece of work either. Standing on the sidelines at this point, trying to remain close enough to keep up with what was going on without being in the way of the gathering rescue team, it seemed to take forever as the personnel, officials and volunteer SAR team members, and pieces were assembled, trickling in from distant locations, spread over at least two counties, Wayne and Garfield, including NPS personnel from Lake Powell, who were at Hite when the call came in. Not being able to list all of the people, or knowing where they all came from, we were never the less grateful for each and every one of them and the roles they each played in the rescue, we counted at least 33 people who participated, not including the original helicopter crew or the original canyoneers. > As light faded, and the vortex was assembled and bolted down right on the lip of the canyon wall, I was alarmed to hear the comment that if we were in a national park jurisdiction the rescue would be postponed due to darkness, it was deeply troubling to hear the patient being repeatedly referred to as "stable". Admittedly not a medical practitioner, I was uncomfortable with this description of a 66 year old man, with a possible broken back and or hip, who had been laying in the same spot on the ground in the canyon for 10 hours now. The two attending EMTs had started an IV, so he was receiving fluids and pain meds, but it was still hard for me to consider the "stable" description without cringing. The assembly of the hardware and rigging, with its redundant miles of rope was completed just as daylight was lost, but having it all in place facilitated the headlamp lighted continuation of the rescue. A second helicopter, this time from Provo, had in the meantime been summoned, and arrived on the scene after dark. After circling the scene a couple of times, and surveying the strobed potential LZ on the shoulder inside the canyon, the pilot demurred, and set down instead up on the rim overhead, due to the strong and gusting winds. > The team then divided in two, half working on getting the littered patient on up the final 60 ft barrier wall to the chopper, while the balance stayed on the shoulder: extracting the remaining EMTs and the long suffering wife of the patient. It was approximately 10:30, 12 hours after the fall, when the helicopter took off, first to refuel in Richfield, and then on to the hospital in Provo. The patient was still conscious enough to later report that he did not enjoy the ride, as the flight were continuously buffeted by high winds from the passing storm front. > The medical report today is extremely positive- the back per se was not broken, 4 "transverse process" bones, or spurs off the vertebrae which protect the spinal cord, were broken on his right side. He is expected to regain full mobility, and to be released in a couple of days, resuming action in maybe a month. > Again, many thanks are due to all of the officials and volunteers who lent their time and talents and equipment to this difficult all day extraction effort which continued well after dark, with its attendant complications. In such an obscure location, in the middle of nowhere, it takes a considerable time and effort to gather such a large and diverse group with all of the gear needed to coordinate such an operation. And then some time to put the right people on the right teams, to handle the many different tasks. While in my type A rush rush mind it was at times frustrating to see progress so slow in the making, it was gratifying and very impressive to see it all come together and work as well as it did. > A tremendous job done by a wide ranging and colorful cast of characters, who worked well together despite representing multiple different entities. Our hats, or helmets, are off to the folks who have put together, trained, equipped, and coordinated this gang. Thank you all again. > rick thompson >
  6. Rick

    Rick Guest

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "RAM" <adkramoo@...> wrote:

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "Rick" <gone2moab@> wrote: > We had little trouble with the always interesting tight hairpin corner drop off,
    > This is that 8 foot rap/downclimb off the sharp left?
    >>>> and then the slide to the deck which follows, and were working on the next corner pinch downclimb,
    > This is often done as a short two stage rap? The first slide of about 12 feet requires a step forward at the last moment to avoid a hole and the 2nd spot where the accident occurred is a slab into a round room. Sliding on the belly one has a left arm to wedge in a groove? This spot is followed by a "hole in the floor" downclimb?
    > >>>>>>with 4 people down, and I was spotting number five. I had just guided his feet to the first big foothold two feet down on the left, my hand was still on the left foot, when somehow, inexplicably, he lost his grip on the handline.
    You handline off people or off an anchor above?

    >>>>>> In another couple of seconds I would have stepped back from the wall to point out the next step for the right foot, with a hand near his back or butt, and could have pinned him against the wall had he come loose. But at the moment he came off the hand line I was close to the wall and my hands were on his feet, so his body pivoted from his feet, which were solid, and I was unable to stop him as he went flying over my shoulder,
    Still holding the handline? He lever off it kinda? > OUCH! > R >

    The tight hair pin drop I refer to is almost a 180 drop out of a tight pinch, feet using the opposite wall if you are climbing. Then the slide where you don't want to curl right, catch the foot on the left side.

    The handline wasn't the problem, it was solid and did not release. For the record his hands were on a daisy chain, which I feel gives more of a grip than an 8 mil rope. He let go, or lost his grip on the still in place and solid handline. And yes, he pivoted off the foothold, and landed flat, fully extended.
  7. Rick

    Rick Guest

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "RAM" <adkramoo@...> wrote:

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "Rick" <gone2moab@> wrote: > We had little trouble with the always interesting tight hairpin corner drop off,
    > This is that 8 foot rap/downclimb off the sharp left?
    >>>> and then the slide to the deck which follows, and were working on the next corner pinch downclimb,
    > This is often done as a short two stage rap? The first slide of about 12 feet requires a step forward at the last moment to avoid a hole and the 2nd spot where the accident occurred is a slab into a round room. Sliding on the belly one has a left arm to wedge in a groove? This spot is followed by a "hole in the floor" downclimb?
    > >>>>>>with 4 people down, and I was spotting number five. I had just guided his feet to the first big foothold two feet down on the left, my hand was still on the left foot, when somehow, inexplicably, he lost his grip on the handline.
    You handline off people or off an anchor above?

    >>>>>> In another couple of seconds I would have stepped back from the wall to point out the next step for the right foot, with a hand near his back or butt, and could have pinned him against the wall had he come loose. But at the moment he came off the hand line I was close to the wall and my hands were on his feet, so his body pivoted from his feet, which were solid, and I was unable to stop him as he went flying over my shoulder,
    Still holding the handline? He lever off it kinda? > OUCH! > R >

    The tight hair pin drop I refer to is almost a 180 drop out of a tight pinch, feet using the opposite wall if you are climbing. Then the slide where you don't want to curl right, catch the foot on the left side.

    The handline wasn't the problem, it was solid and did not release. For the record his hands were on a daisy chain, which I feel gives more of a grip than an 8 mil rope. He let go, or lost his grip on the still in place and solid handline. And yes, he pivoted off the foothold, and landed flat, fully extended.
  8. cardlaw22

    cardlaw22 Guest

    This question is not meant to be in any way disrespectful. Was this man part of the warm up group? Generally speaking what was his experience/skill level and what was the discussion (if any) for him to be in Boss Hog vs. not or somewhere else? Again, I am just re-evaluating my own decision making when others ask me to take them into canyons and how I can best evaluate and mitigate all the risks vs. experience level.

    Scott Card


    Our group warmed up Friday with a quick four man scamper through Monkee Business, which was fun, and uncharacteristically dry.
  9. dsijdavis

    dsijdavis Guest

    I'm glad to hear that the injury wasn't as bad as Kevin thought it might be. I still can't believe I recognized him at the side of the road. I ran into him about 1:15 - 1:30, and the first official vehicle (SUV w/ police lights and siren) came by just a few minutes later, just to help with your timeline.

    D

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "Rick" <gone2moab@...> wrote: > the situation and in initial treatment of the patient, the three canyoneer go for help team left about 11:00, reached the cars at roughly noon, the first phone contact with authorities may have been sometime about 1:00. It was close to 2:30 when the phone duo had made a rendezvous with the first responders and made it back to camp to pick up the gear and the third member, and then maybe 300 or 330 when they started to collect at the trailhead with other early responders. A helicopter from Page, AZ landed and took on one of the canyoneers to locate the injured party, but from the air the canyons just looked like a bunch of squiggly lines, and they were unable to locate the in canyon group from above. The canyon group was tremendously frustrated by the helicopters multiple high passes and it occurred to me that we should have also spotted one person on the rim above the patient to facilitate their location. The chopper ran low on gas, dropped off the spotter, and headed off to refuel, only to subsequently be pulled off on another, higher priority call, leaving the rescue air supportless. Having figured out what had happened when the helicopter left, tremendously frustrated in still having no one contact us from the rim, and foreseeing the oncoming loss of daylight, shortly after 5 pm I decided to leave the stabilized patient with his wife in the canyon and climb out with the other canyoneer in the group to meet the rescuers, and pinpoint the spot on the rim over the accident. Shortly after exiting, and determining that location, the first group of rescuers arrived on scene at the rim. After some consultation, the decision was made to send the 2 EMTs present, notably Duke Alvey and his wife Jessica, the proprietors of Stans Chevron and Burger Shack in Hanksville, down into the canyon to attend to the patient, led by two of the original climb out group canyon team. Experienced Boss Hoggers can appreciate the pluck and determination of this non canyoneering EMT team, with their huge packs and loads of gear, in volunteering to climb down into the canyon; it took a heroic effort just to get to the patient, and needless to say, it took them awhile to get there. Kudos also to the two canyoneers who volunteered to go back down with them, assisting the EMTs, knowing in doing so they were commiting to climb back up out of the canyon a second time, no small piece of work either. Standing on the sidelines at this point, trying to remain close enough to keep up with what was going on without being in the way of the gathering rescue team, it seemed to take forever as the personnel, officials and volunteer SAR team members, and pieces were assembled, trickling in from distant locations, spread over at least two counties, Wayne and Garfield, including NPS personnel from Lake Powell, who were at Hite when the call came in. Not being able to list all of the people, or knowing where they all came from, we were never the less grateful for each and every one of them and the roles they each played in the rescue, we counted at least 33 people who participated, not including the original helicopter crew or the original canyoneers. > As light faded, and the vortex was assembled and bolted down right on the lip of the canyon wall, I was alarmed to hear the comment that if we were in a national park jurisdiction the rescue would be postponed due to darkness, it was deeply troubling to hear the patient being repeatedly referred to as "stable". Admittedly not a medical practitioner, I was uncomfortable with this description of a 66 year old man, with a possible broken back and or hip, who had been laying in the same spot on the ground in the canyon for 10 hours now. The two attending EMTs had started an IV, so he was receiving fluids and pain meds, but it was still hard for me to consider the "stable" description without cringing. The assembly of the hardware and rigging, with its redundant miles of rope was completed just as daylight was lost, but having it all in place facilitated the headlamp lighted continuation of the rescue. A second helicopter, this time from Provo, had in the meantime been summoned, and arrived on the scene after dark. After circling the scene a couple of times, and surveying the strobed potential LZ on the shoulder inside the canyon, the pilot demurred, and set down instead up on the rim overhead, due to the strong and gusting winds. > The team then divided in two, half working on getting the littered patient on up the final 60 ft barrier wall to the chopper, while the balance stayed on the shoulder: extracting the remaining EMTs and the long suffering wife of the patient. It was approximately 10:30, 12 hours after the fall, when the helicopter took off, first to refuel in Richfield, and then on to the hospital in Provo. The patient was still conscious enough to later report that he did not enjoy the ride, as the flight were continuously buffeted by high winds from the passing storm front. > The medical report today is extremely positive- the back per se was not broken, 4 "transverse process" bones, or spurs off the vertebrae which protect the spinal cord, were broken on his right side. He is expected to regain full mobility, and to be released in a couple of days, resuming action in maybe a month. > Again, many thanks are due to all of the officials and volunteers who lent their time and talents and equipment to this difficult all day extraction effort which continued well after dark, with its attendant complications. In such an obscure location, in the middle of nowhere, it takes a considerable time and effort to gather such a large and diverse group with all of the gear needed to coordinate such an operation. And then some time to put the right people on the right teams, to handle the many different tasks. While in my type A rush rush mind it was at times frustrating to see progress so slow in the making, it was gratifying and very impressive to see it all come together and work as well as it did. > A tremendous job done by a wide ranging and colorful cast of characters, who worked well together despite representing multiple different entities. Our hats, or helmets, are off to the folks who have put together, trained, equipped, and coordinated this gang. Thank you all again. > rick thompson >
  10. Rick

    Rick Guest

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "cardlaw22" <cardlaw22@...> wrote:
    This question is not meant to be in any way disrespectful. Was this man part of the warm up group? Generally speaking what was his experience/skill level and what was the discussion (if any) for him to be in Boss Hog vs. not or somewhere else? Again, I am just re-evaluating my own decision making when others ask me to take them into canyons and how I can best evaluate and mitigate all the risks vs. experience level.
    Scott Card

    Our group warmed up Friday with a quick four man scamper through Monkee Business, which was fun, and uncharacteristically dry. > he was not part of the warm up. he and his wife arrived friday night. they had completed one of the WMC/my introduction to Technical Canyoneering trips, where we do right lep, lucky charms, and both blarneys, right and then left. And that only following a 3 hour rappelling class at home in SLC. He is a hard core road bike rider and is extremely fit, i didn't consider his age a disqualifier due to his competent completion of the earlier canyons and his high fitness level. Three others in the group were in the same position- having completed some basic NW canyons, including learning the human elevator, and now stepping up to slightly harder, or "201" level canyons. The 8 ft "downclimb", handlining spot where he fell was low level compared to stuff he had previously done without a rope.
  11. Rick

    Rick Guest

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "cardlaw22" <cardlaw22@...> wrote:
    This question is not meant to be in any way disrespectful. Was this man part of the warm up group? Generally speaking what was his experience/skill level and what was the discussion (if any) for him to be in Boss Hog vs. not or somewhere else? Again, I am just re-evaluating my own decision making when others ask me to take them into canyons and how I can best evaluate and mitigate all the risks vs. experience level.
    Scott Card

    Our group warmed up Friday with a quick four man scamper through Monkee Business, which was fun, and uncharacteristically dry. > he was not part of the warm up. he and his wife arrived friday night. they had completed one of the WMC/my introduction to Technical Canyoneering trips, where we do right lep, lucky charms, and both blarneys, right and then left. And that only following a 3 hour rappelling class at home in SLC. He is a hard core road bike rider and is extremely fit, i didn't consider his age a disqualifier due to his competent completion of the earlier canyons and his high fitness level. Three others in the group were in the same position- having completed some basic NW canyons, including learning the human elevator, and now stepping up to slightly harder, or "201" level canyons. The 8 ft "downclimb", handlining spot where he fell was low level compared to stuff he had previously done without a rope.
  12. cardlaw22

    cardlaw22 Guest

    Hmmmm. Thanks for the insight. Sounds like no red flags were raised at all.

    Scott

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "Rick" <gone2moab@...> wrote:

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "cardlaw22" <cardlaw22@> wrote:

    This question is not meant to be in any way disrespectful. Was this man part of the warm up group? Generally speaking what was his experience/skill level and what was the discussion (if any) for him to be in Boss Hog vs. not or somewhere else? Again, I am just re-evaluating my own decision making when others ask me to take them into canyons and how I can best evaluate and mitigate all the risks vs. experience level.

    Scott Card


    Our group warmed up Friday with a quick four man scamper through Monkee Business, which was fun, and uncharacteristically dry.
    > he was not part of the warm up. he and his wife arrived friday night. > they had completed one of the WMC/my introduction to Technical Canyoneering trips, where we do right lep, lucky charms, and both blarneys, right and then left. And that only following a 3 hour rappelling class at home in SLC. He is a hard core road bike rider and is extremely fit, i didn't consider his age a disqualifier due to his competent completion of the earlier canyons and his high fitness level. Three others in the group were in the same position- having completed some basic NW canyons, including learning the human elevator, and now stepping up to slightly harder, or "201" level canyons. The 8 ft "downclimb", handlining spot where he fell was low level compared to stuff he had previously done without a rope. >
  13. RAM

    RAM Guest

    OK, got it. Question...what was the daisy chain attached to? We use daisy chains regularly, often attached to a pack, with someone sitting or standing on the pack.



    > The tight hair pin drop I refer to is almost a 180 drop out of a tight pinch, feet using the opposite wall if you are climbing. Then the slide where you don't want to curl right, catch the foot on the left side.
    The handline wasn't the problem, it was solid and did not release. For the record his hands were on a daisy chain, which I feel gives more of a grip than an 8 mil rope. He let go, or lost his grip on the still in place and solid handline. And yes, he pivoted off the foothold, and landed flat, fully extended. >
  14. RAM

    RAM Guest

    Rick

    Thanks for the report. Thinking under the gun is always a challenge and after the event, we can always come up with ideas and things we might have done differently. You were there Rick....In retrospect, what would you have done differently? Not so much the prevention of the accident, although that would be interesting too...interested in what you think from the moment the accident occurred onward. What went well, what do you wish you did, had etc. OK if others interject without it seeming critical of the actions taken?

    Ram
  15. cardlaw22

    cardlaw22 Guest

    Let me add a couple more questions since this is one (of many) canyon I haven't done. How stout of a down climb is this spot? Seems he was facing the rock rather than being in the standard down climbing position. (Yes, I know you can also down climb facing in sometimes. My preference is if I can't down climb facing out then I hook in and rap) Is this a standard hand line spot or rap spot or down climb with optional hand line? Also, just curious was this a friend group or a guided trip or a club thing or a hook-up at Sandthrax and go kind of trip?

    Scott Card

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "RAM" <adkramoo@...> wrote:
    Rick
    Thanks for the report. Thinking under the gun is always a challenge and after the event, we can always come up with ideas and things we might have done differently. You were there Rick....In retrospect, what would you have done differently? Not so much the prevention of the accident, although that would be interesting too...interested in what you think from the moment the accident occurred onward. What went well, what do you wish you did, had etc. OK if others interject without it seeming critical of the actions taken?
    Ram >
  16. phil

    phil Guest

    My only question regards a medical response to the situation. Why did the crew choose to place the patient in a fetal position versus supine if their was an initial concern of spinal injury?

    It has been a while since I have been certified but I seem to remember the importance of stabilize and immobilize the spine and neck even with the remotest of concerns. I am also fully aware of the difficulties of implementing ideal actions in extremely limiting environment.

    Thoughts/Explanations?

    Phillip

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "cardlaw22" <cardlaw22@...> wrote:
    Let me add a couple more questions since this is one (of many) canyon I haven't done. How stout of a down climb is this spot? Seems he was facing the rock rather than being in the standard down climbing position. (Yes, I know you can also down climb facing in sometimes. My preference is if I can't down climb facing out then I hook in and rap) Is this a standard hand line spot or rap spot or down climb with optional hand line? Also, just curious was this a friend group or a guided trip or a club thing or a hook-up at Sandthrax and go kind of trip?
    Scott Card
    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "RAM" <adkramoo@> wrote:

    Rick

    Thanks for the report. Thinking under the gun is always a challenge and after the event, we can always come up with ideas and things we might have done differently. You were there Rick....In retrospect, what would you have done differently? Not so much the prevention of the accident, although that would be interesting too...interested in what you think from the moment the accident occurred onward. What went well, what do you wish you did, had etc. OK if others interject without it seeming critical of the actions taken?

    Ram
    >
  17. Rick

    Rick Guest

    the crew did not "choose" to place him in any position. per the accident report above- "The patients position of choice was a loose fetal position on one side."

    he assumed this position on his own, lieing on the ground, as it was one which afforded him the least amount of pain, which as also stated, was excruciating on any movement. the team, lead in the medical regard by a current RN, opted to make him as comfortable and keep him as warm as possible without additional movement. He stayed in that position, without moving, until he was placed on the rescuers backboard, post IV and pain med treatment, roughly 10 hours later.

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "phil" <Happyfeet00@...> wrote:
    My only question regards a medical response to the situation. Why did the crew choose to place the patient in a fetal position versus supine if their was an initial concern of spinal injury?
    It has been a while since I have been certified but I seem to remember the importance of stabilize and immobilize the spine and neck even with the remotest of concerns. I am also fully aware of the difficulties of implementing ideal actions in extremely limiting environment.
    Thoughts/Explanations?
    Phillip
    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "cardlaw22" <cardlaw22@> wrote:

    Let me add a couple more questions since this is one (of many) canyon I haven't done. How stout of a down climb is this spot? Seems he was facing the rock rather than being in the standard down climbing position. (Yes, I know you can also down climb facing in sometimes. My preference is if I can't down climb facing out then I hook in and rap) Is this a standard hand line spot or rap spot or down climb with optional hand line? Also, just curious was this a friend group or a guided trip or a club thing or a hook-up at Sandthrax and go kind of trip?

    Scott Card

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "RAM" <adkramoo@> wrote:


    Rick


    Thanks for the report. Thinking under the gun is always a challenge and after the event, we can always come up with ideas and things we might have done differently. You were there Rick....In retrospect, what would you have done differently? Not so much the prevention of the accident, although that would be interesting too...interested in what you think from the moment the accident occurred onward. What went well, what do you wish you did, had etc. OK if others interject without it seeming critical of the actions taken?


    Ram
  18. Rick

    Rick Guest

    the site is not your standard two wall slot canyon downclimb, it is a fairly easy 8 ft drop on a flat wall, with several significant footholds. it is routinely done as a wall climb, facing the wall and stepping down three steps in a sequence. Since several in the group had not done this downclimb before they were aided by a handline to assist in keeping their balance, and also spotted from behind/below as they made those steps. In a dozen+ times through this canyon I have never used a rap at this spot for myself or anyone else in the group. This was a WMC group.

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "cardlaw22" <cardlaw22@...> wrote:
    Let me add a couple more questions since this is one (of many) canyon I haven't done. How stout of a down climb is this spot? Seems he was facing the rock rather than being in the standard down climbing position. (Yes, I know you can also down climb facing in sometimes. My preference is if I can't down climb facing out then I hook in and rap) Is this a standard hand line spot or rap spot or down climb with optional hand line? Also, just curious was this a friend group or a guided trip or a club thing or a hook-up at Sandthrax and go kind of trip?
    Scott Card
    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "RAM" <adkramoo@> wrote:

    Rick

    Thanks for the report. Thinking under the gun is always a challenge and after the event, we can always come up with ideas and things we might have done differently. You were there Rick....In retrospect, what would you have done differently? Not so much the prevention of the accident, although that would be interesting too...interested in what you think from the moment the accident occurred onward. What went well, what do you wish you did, had etc. OK if others interject without it seeming critical of the actions taken?

    Ram
    >
  19. TomJones

    TomJones Guest

    Support.

    Patient position of comfort is much more important than any position of doctrine. Even to the extent that when placed on a stretcher, if the patient can be immobilized in a position of comfort, this is much preferable to forcing them into a position of pain, so as to fit the rescuers idea of what position the patient should be in.

    Tom

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "Rick" <gone2moab@...> wrote:
    the crew did not "choose" to place him in any position. > per the accident report above- > "The patients position of choice was a loose fetal position on one side."
    he assumed this position on his own, lieing on the ground, as it was one which afforded him the least amount of pain, which as also stated, was excruciating on any movement. the team, lead in the medical regard by a current RN, opted to make him as comfortable and keep him as warm as possible without additional movement. He stayed in that position, without moving, until he was placed on the rescuers backboard, post IV and pain med treatment, roughly 10 hours later.
    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "phil" <Happyfeet00@> wrote:

    My only question regards a medical response to the situation. Why did the crew choose to place the patient in a fetal position versus supine if their was an initial concern of spinal injury?

    It has been a while since I have been certified but I seem to remember the importance of stabilize and immobilize the spine and neck even with the remotest of concerns. I am also fully aware of the difficulties of implementing ideal actions in extremely limiting environment.

    Thoughts/Explanations?

    Phillip
  20. TomJones

    TomJones Guest

    I've always found this downclimb extremely awkward and scary, so I don't do it. I think I've done it twice. Also, it is hard to effectively spot from below, because the floor slopes away so quickly. But I know other people do this downclimb regularly and find it reasonable. Just not me.

    Tom

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "Rick" <gone2moab@...> wrote:
    the site is not your standard two wall slot canyon downclimb, it is a fairly easy 8 ft drop on a flat wall, with several significant footholds. it is routinely done as a wall climb, facing the wall and stepping down three steps in a sequence. Since several in the group had not done this downclimb before they were aided by a handline to assist in keeping their balance, and also spotted from behind/below as they made those steps. In a dozen+ times through this canyon I have never used a rap at this spot for myself or anyone else in the group. This was a WMC group.
    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "cardlaw22" <cardlaw22@> wrote:

    Let me add a couple more questions since this is one (of many) canyon I haven't done. How stout of a down climb is this spot? Seems he was facing the rock rather than being in the standard down climbing position. (Yes, I know you can also down climb facing in sometimes. My preference is if I can't down climb facing out then I hook in and rap) Is this a standard hand line spot or rap spot or down climb with optional hand line? Also, just curious was this a friend group or a guided trip or a club thing or a hook-up at Sandthrax and go kind of trip?

    Scott Card
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