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Rescue in Subway

Discussion in 'Accidents and Near Misses' started by Canyonero, Jan 27, 2023.

  1. Canyonero

    Canyonero

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    January subway trip goes bad.

    Victims rescued by helicopter with fancy technology.

    Hypothermia death prevented.

    Good job everyone.

    Winter canyoneering is for special people. Most people aren't special.

    https://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/a...rk-helicopter-rescue-successful/#.Y9QGHOzMI-Q

    Two out-of-state hikers marooned in freezing temperatures for more than 24 hours were rescued from a remote part of Zion National Park via helicopter Saturday.
    The Utah Department of Public Safety and the National Park Service coordinated the rescue.

    Sgt. Cameron Roden with the Utah Department of Public Safety told St. George News that the hikers were 26-year-old males from New York and Nevada.

    The men had set out to hike the Subway route in Zion National Park from the top down on Friday, Jan. 20, but they didn’t return as planned. When park personnel received a report the men were overdue returning, they sent rangers and a rescue team up Kolob Terrace Road and prepared a landing zone for a helicopter from the Utah Department of Public Safety.
    Video here:

    https://news3lv.com/news/local/stra...t-of-public-safety-helicopter-st-george-based

    Make sure you look at the last 15 seconds to get an idea of what the conditions were like.
    Rock and Ram like this.
  2. Jolly Green

    Jolly Green

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    Some on here will shake their head asking who is dumb enough to do that. Others will study how thick the ice they were breaking through at the end of the video is and figure out which of their winter trips they are reminded of the most.

    Definitely reminiscent of Cheesebox in early March 2022 for me.
    Brian in SLC and Ram like this.
  3. Ram

    Ram

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    The footage is amazing. Luke, Tre-C and friends did the canyon a month ago. I don't have permission to post their pictures but will alert them to this thread. I had done it on Christmas Day 10 years ago. It is a burly day. From the video I am guessing the rescue crew dropped in above Keyhole Falls. It is wider there and then he went up canyon, engaging the fella below the Chockstone Falls area, from what I can tell. At first I wondered about having the micro spikes in the stream but he went up on the side quite a bit and they were very necessary there. His movement over the snow on the ledges above the stream were VERY athletic and skilled. When you plant a foot in snow like that, the exact angle of the surface you land on is different that what the top of the snow appears like. His movement was sure footed and rapid under those conditions and there was exposure in places.

    It looked like he was in a dry suit so I was surprised by his saying he wasn't equipped for water. I was thinking that copter ride must have been super cold too. There is video of Tre-C higher in the canyon a month ago that is like the final 15 seconds of the video. Not too bad if you are warm enough and equipped well. Didn't see anything there that was a problem, but am assuming that they had to stop due to cold? They had gone through the triple pools and Chockstone narrows already. It actually gets easier going forward because they stopped right before a lot of the springs come in and the warmer flow reduces snow obstacles and ice. Also they were by some of the gully's that head up to the top. Those are part of the route to South Guardian Angel but they would have been full of snow and treacherous. But down canyon would have been easier...but VERY wet and the hypothermic fella....bad news

    There was the usual ice on the sides I could see but it looked like fresh snow had fallen recently on the tops of ledges and looked slipper as it was not too deep (Deeper is easier, until it gets too deep with break through possibilities that can threaten limbs). Wonderful job getting them out.
    What it can look like that time of year
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/p3qEZjwuBKaxJB1bA
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2023
  4. Ram

    Ram

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    Here is a January 2nd Cheesebox
    https://photos.app.goo.gl/xJHMbc23X9or2agB6
    Austin Farnworth likes this.
  5. hank moon

    hank moon kinetically bulbous

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    For info , the rescued hikers were reportedly in waders. I guess you're talking about the rescuer?
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2023
    Ram likes this.
  6. Ram

    Ram

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    I was referring to the rescuer being in a dry suit. I was referring to his comments in the discussion starting at about 5:50 mark, and not being water ready at about 6:23
    https://news3lv.com/news/local/stra...t-of-public-safety-helicopter-st-george-based
    BUT the rescued being in waders only, explains MUCH!! No way they get through dressed like that. AND they spent a night out there after getting too cold to continue? It is amazing they made it at all. I wonder if they had a fire and working dry bags with a change of clothing? The quickness that they came into the water after contact was made makes me think they didn't have dry clothes, but were still in their waders? YIKES! I always thought having to stop on wet winter canyons meant a likely death sentence. Good for them hanging in there. Waders? WOW!!
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2023
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  7. hank moon

    hank moon kinetically bulbous

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    26-year-old males: resilience proportional to foolishness ?
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  8. Ram

    Ram

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    Thought that too. Glad YOU said it.
    Foolishness? Or just lack of depth of experience? I don't know of any "how to" winter wet canyon manual. Minor choices so often have major consequences, especially when the game's a foot. There is so little margin for error.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2023
  9. hank moon

    hank moon kinetically bulbous

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    The two gents shown at 00:55 seem to be similarly attired. The blue top worn by the guy not going down is not a dry top, apparently.
    Ram likes this.
  10. Ram

    Ram

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    In Hank I trust! Thanks. Lucky there was no swims between the heli drop in spot and the boys. I am still impressed by the rescuers rapid movement on the snow above the slot. Not having hesitation to ensure balance, with each foot fall is very athletic and seasoned.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2023
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  11. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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    Wow...some great rescue video.

    Almost looked like the rescued were in chest waders...maybe with attached booties. For fishing or hunting, and, good to chest deep water I'd think. Yikes.

    Yeah, the way they busted through the ice and made it to the rescuer made me wonder how much juice they really had in the tank, although, the propect of getting out of there was likely a very strong motivator.

    "Only one backpack". Wonder if they ditched some gear?

    They didn't appear too far from being able to walk out and up to the trailhead. Maybe ran out of steam? Can't imagine an unplanned night in the winter after being in the water in a canyon. Slow going and conditions likely slowed them way down and they just got over extended and exhausted.

    Big kudos to the rescue folk. Crack unit there. A bit scary when the pilot asks how close his blades are to the cliff face. Fun to check out what I could see of their gear...

    Wow.
    Kuenn, hank moon and Ram like this.
  12. Yellow Dart

    Yellow Dart It's only hubris if I fail.

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    Aye, the rescuer was standing on the first good-flow seeps water (around 50 degrees year round) while he was waiting for them to get to him. To Ram's point, once that seeps water starts coming in en masse, it's a pleasant stroll to the exit.

    But they would have had 2 full-swims in waders, and they didn't know there wasn't another one for the rest of the day, sooo... the things you don't know you don't know.

    The guys in waders were waiting/talking to the SAR guy at this exact point in a similar situation from a descent I had a few years back (my group was not the situation), a mere 30 yards from gloriously warm seeps water. Womp womp. Timestamp 2:07



    Aye, once people get cold-cold their brains start slogging, and a low-key fear sets in; then you stop progressing, so you get colder, and the feedback loop begins, until eventually you hit analysis paralysis.


    Sometimes the best thing you can do when you are much colder than you thought you'd be is to fang it and just goooooo gogogogo. But again, they didn't know what they didn't know.



    It kind of reminds me of the pair of shirtless zoomers than poached PC last summer and just gave up because they were cold; but were able to scream to hikers on Canyon Overlook, so SAR marched in with drysuits and sleeping bags and bivouacked in the long narrows section... and the lads posted the vid to TikTok.
    Anybody have a link to that? I know it hit the CC when it happened.
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