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Crews rescue 3 hikers / Capitol Reef May 26. 2019

Discussion in 'Accidents and Near Misses' started by ratagonia, May 26, 2019.

  1. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    https://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/a...D72laNTUG_BBolmTEXrOwcnmYZHg65YM#.XOsujRZKiUk

    Crews rescue 3 hikers suffering from cold and exhaustion in Garfield County slot canyon
    Written by Joseph Witham
    May 26, 2019

    ST. GEORGE — Three hikers were rescued from a slot canyon in Garfield County Saturday after they were reported overdue days before.

    The hikers, two men and one woman visiting from Colorado, had embarked on a hike Wednesday in the Capital Reef National Park area on the Mulie Twist Trail, according to a statement released by Garfield County Sheriff’s Office.

    They were reported overdue by concerned family Thursday at around 7 p.m., at which point Garfield County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue crews and National Park Service rangers were deployed to the trail to begin searching for the trio.

    “The trailhead was checked and the search parties were unable to find the vehicle that the party was supposedly traveling in,” the Sheriff’s Office stated. “They continued to search for the vehicle to have a starting point to try to locate the party.”

    Deputies then called for a Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter crew to assist in the extensive search. The combined forces continued to search by air and on ground all day Friday, but they were unable to locate the hiking party, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

    On Saturday, one of the rangers located the vehicle parked near some green trees on Notum Road. After the vehicle was found, the search focused on the Strike Valley slot canyon, and the hikers were finally located in the canyon by helicopter crews.

    “After talking to the overdue party, the search teams were informed that the three individuals had been hiking in the canyon, it had rained while on their hike and they were wet, cold and exhausted,” the Sheriff’s Office stated. “The female had hypothermia and they had decided to just wait for help.”

    “Without the help of those involved, it could have been a terrible situation instead of a successful rescue,” the statement reads.

    The Sheriff’s Office advises hikers to check the weather, bring a GPS device, study the area and be prepared for any weather situation before embarking on a hike.

    Responders included personnel from the Department of Public Safety, Classic Air Life Flight, Capital Reef National Park, Garfield County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue and Garfield County Sheriff’s Office.

    Ropes teams were sent to the scene, and all three hikers were lifted to safety and helped out of the slot canyon.

    In the statement, the Sheriff’s Office said Sheriff James Perkins is “extremely thankful for all of those involved with this incredible search and rescue.”
  2. Tirrus

    Tirrus Rope rider.

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    The news report is only mildly inaccurate.

    The three individuals decided to attempt canyons in Capitol Reef NP instead of Zion, due to the closures and higher chance of rain in Zion. They began descending Strike II canyon on Wednesday morning 5/22. With a chance for rain.

    The beta they were following indicated water levels wouldn't be more than waist deep, and most pools would be easily stemmed over, but this was not the case. The group had to swim twice even before the third down climb, which they were rappelling due to cold, and inexperience with elevator style down climbing. By the third down climb it was raining, so they hunkered down under a chock stone with an emergency blanket, and rode out the first flash flood. The canyon flash flooded twice during the 3 days they were in the narrow section.

    On Saturday morning, after the canyon got 12 minutes of sunlight, one of the three individuals felt energized enough to attempt to exit the canyon. Fixing and cutting ropes at every drop, he moved through the canyon, and was met by rescuers at the last rappel. The remaining two individuals were met by rescuers descending the canyon from above. They were warmed up by the rescuers, descended the remainder of the canyon, crossing all the pools and down climbs using guided lowers. Exiting at around 630pm Saturday, having spent nearly 4 days in canyon.
  3. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Thanks for the clarifications. Seems odd they did not have a vehicle at the top (if true).

    Tom
    Austin Farnworth likes this.
  4. EvergreenDean

    EvergreenDean OK with what happens

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    Ram likes this.
  5. EvergreenDean

    EvergreenDean OK with what happens

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    With the continual posting of beta in Capitol Reef backcountry, we are moving closer to the inevitable permit system for canyoneering. This might do it. Too many resources being used in an underfunded park. Think before you post please.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  6. Tirrus

    Tirrus Rope rider.

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    They did have a vehicle at the top. It was just parked further South on the Strike Valley Overlook Rd than the true trail head for Strike II.
  7. Canyonero

    Canyonero

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    Might be more effective if you simply contact the person posting rather than hoping he stumbles across this.
    EvergreenDean likes this.
  8. rick t

    rick t

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    the reports tell alot about this rescue, and the one today, of 4 women from Death Hollow. "The beta they were following indicated water levels wouldn't be more than waist deep, and most pools would be easily stemmed over, but this was not the case. The group had to swim twice even before the third down climb, which they were rappelling due to cold, and inexperience with elevator style down climbing. By the third down climb it was raining, so they hunkered down under a chock stone with an emergency blanket, and rode out the first flash flood."

    and from KSL- "The four women, ranging in age from 40 to 53 from the Salt Lake area, told rescuers that they thought the slot canyon would only contain ankle- to knee-deep water, but after hiking for some time they realized they would be in deeper water and having to swim in some places, according to the sheriff's office. The women were able to get on a ledge as hypothermia from the cold and wet weather started to set in."Luckily one of the women had decided to get a beacon alert before going on this hike or they possibly might not have been located," according to the sheriff's office."

    Hello! It has been raining steadily on and off for 6 or 8 weeks. these are slot canyons! The horror! They had to swim?? The community is being overrun with inexperienced, untrained and totally unprepared newbies with apparently no common sense. No wet suits, no down climbing experience or ability, dropping into slots with a good chance of rain on THAT day, on top of the last 2 months rain. How do we reach this population, who are risking their lives based on a page of beta, and having a rescue beacon, as opposed to learning through taking classes, going with experienced people, and progressively building a canyon resume over time? So far we have been lucky, and have gotten by with extracting these cold and wet turons without serious penalty points, other than the ever increasing burdens of the costs of these rescues,(especially helicopter rescues) on small rural localities that are not equiped to bear that burden. On top of the inevitable triggering of more odious permit requirements, as mentioned above, despite the failure of that tactic to solve, or even change the nature of the problem- look at the numbers of people who drop into Pine Creek and the Subway on a daily basis, who are unprepared and or unqualified to do so. People are clearly going to die, and the fallout will be more regulations and restrictions placed on the community at large. Is this inevitable? What can we do?
  9. EvergreenDean

    EvergreenDean OK with what happens

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    Many of us are in regular contact with the prime posters, and pressure is being applied consistently. Recently, the potentiality for a permit system has become a real issue in Capitol Reef due to rescues. There have been plenty of debates over to post/not to post, but I don’t recall this being one of the primary arguments against posting. Maybe for another thread, but how do the beta-posters out there feel about their beta leading to mandatory permits? Will they keep claiming the benefits of sharing even when it results in restricted access? Is it better to find canyons on your own and have open access, or have them handed to you on a platter and struggle to get a permit? Thoughts?


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    Last edited: May 30, 2019
  10. hank moon

    hank moon kinetically bulbous

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    Canyoneering is now "a thing" and any beta voids will be filled, by someone(s). "Better the devil you know than the devil you don't" ?

    The question is, how to balance the needs of recreational users and land managers regarding the inevitable broadbanding of beta?
  11. rick

    rick

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    Frequently a common element in these rescues is a severe lack of appreciation for the variation in conditions or lack of experience in such situations. Many get overconfident in their skills after having completed a few "more challenging" canyons if good weather/conditions. The importance of experiencing adverse weather/conditions in canyons while still well within your skill level and fitness is a critical learning experience. Some things need to be experienced first hand before they are taken to heart.
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  12. gajslk

    gajslk

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    Yes. More deaths will make it even cooler, so maybe the answer is to promote it as a sport for pansies and old guys with beer guts and no tattoos. Make it uncool. When I was a kid, it would have been old guys with beer guts and tattoos, but somewhere along the way tats got so cool that now grannies are getting them.
    wisconnyjohnny, Rapterman and Ram like this.
  13. Ram

    Ram

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    I am doing my part
    Last edited: May 28, 2019
  14. Rapterman

    Rapterman

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    HEY
    Believe it or not- someday all you 20 - 30 somethings with TATTOOS will be
    Grannies and Grandpas (with funky, faded, stretch- marked tattoos)
    Tattoos will be UNCOOL then...
    :D
  15. Scott Patterson

    Scott Patterson

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    Weird. Even in dry conditions Death Hollow usually has swimming. I have never seen it with only ankle deep to knee deep water.
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  16. rick

    rick

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    I have asked one of the four women to consider posting on the forum about her experience. She is reluctant due to the possibility of being unfairly judged. If she changes her mind please be understanding.
    wisconnyjohnny likes this.
  17. Jenny

    Jenny

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    What?! Reluctance to post? Being unfairly judged after having a bit of an “epic” in a slot canyon? Really? Fear of facing the jury of the internet masses?
    Being sucked in to defend one's self after the better informed have made their pontifications?

    Surely, none of the posters on this thread have EVER had a near-miss or a miss or made a mistake along the way to becoming a canyoneering expert.
    Black kettles make for good pot shots.

    Sorry. Well, no I’m not.
    If the moderators don't delete this one, I'lll send it to The Bog.
    Sorry. No, I'm not.
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  18. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    She could also report anonymously through you.

    T
  19. wisconnyjohnny

    wisconnyjohnny

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    Exactly!!! I have never done it but KNOW it’s not a hike to do in the 40s and 50s in spring. At least not one I would choose!
  20. Kuenn

    Kuenn

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    Random thoughts:
    • I have no strong feelings one way or the other with permit systems, they have their pros and cons (as long as they do not impose unrealistic conditions). What they don't do, however, is keep the unprepared from venturing in and ultimately over their head. That will still happen - unless the gestapo takes up canyon oversight. (Locks only keep out the honest.)
    • Making it "uncool" just might have some merit. Duck-faced selfies of those "old guys with beer guts and tattoos, funky and or faded" sure works wonders keeping me away from their hangouts and hideouts.
    • It would be very educational, courageous, informative, etc. if "one or more" of the women would provide retrospectives. It could shed some much needed valuable light-and-understanding for the unlearned, as well as the learned. Conceding that we are all in various stages of experience - "just prisoners here, of our own device". (Bonus - our bark and bite do not carry Lyme disease.)
    ratagonia and gajslk like this.
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