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Search and Rescue in Sandthrax Slot Canyon

Discussion in 'Accidents and Near Misses' started by hank moon, Apr 29, 2019.

  1. hank moon

    hank moon kinetically bulbous

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    From Garfield County Sheriff's Office:

    Search and Rescue in Sandthrax Slot Canyon

    On April 28th at approximately 9:00 pm the Garfield County Dispatch received a call reporting that 7 individuals originating from the Denver Colorado area from ages 20 to 60 years old were stuck in a slot canyon called Sandthrax. This slot canyon is located on BLM in the Leprechaun Canyon Area around Boulder Utah.

    This slot canyon requires repelling and other difficult tasks and the individuals were amateur hikers and unprepared for this kind of hike.

    It was reported that one of the hikers got stuck in a narrow space and could not get out. The other individuals except for one were unable to get around her. The one individual that that got out hiked out and got a ride to Hanksville Utah and called dispatch. The Search and Rescue from Garfield County, Wayne County and also the Department of Public Safety Helicopter were called out for this incident at around 9:00pm

    The Search and Rescue teams got to the area where these individuals were at and the Department of Public Safety Helicopter arrived and were able to assist the individual that was stuck in the slot. The Helicopter flew the individual who had been stuck and was suffering from hypothermia and minor injuries to the Moab Hospital. The helicopter then went back to the area to assist on getting the rest of the party out. No other injuries were reported.

    Garfield County Sheriff would like to thank everyone involved in this rescue. Garfield County Search and Rescue for their fantastic response to assist. A Big Thank You to the Wayne County Search and Rescue for all the assistance and being the first on scene. The Sheriff would also like to thank the Department of Public Safety Helicopter for their unending efforts to help our county in the many searches we have in our area. You are all wonderful.

    Garfield County Sheriff and Deputies would really like to express the importance of knowing the area you are going to hike at. Be over prepared for any situation that could arise. Always make sure you have plenty of water and food. We have some amazing areas to hike in our county and one of our biggest concerns is the safety of all individuals.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2019
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  2. Canyonero

    Canyonero

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    KSL also reporting it as Sandthrax. I agree that's likely wrong.

    https://www.ksl.com/article/46541511/woman-wedged-in-narrow-utah-slot-canyon-rescued

    Garfield County sheriff's spokeswoman Denise Dastrup said the canyon, which requires rappelling in some spots, is difficult and not for beginners.

    "They were not prepared at all for this kind of a hike. Very amateur in hiking. Probably shouldn't have been in this canyon. Probably should have studied it out a little more," she said.

    At some point, a woman in the group became stuck while hiking in a narrow part of the canyon. One man was able to get around the woman and hike out for help, while the others were stuck behind their friend, Dastrup said.

    The man who was able to hike out was able to flag down a motorist who gave him a ride into Hanksville, Wayne County, where authorities were notified about 9 p.m. Search and rescue crews from Garfield and Wayne counties were assembled as well as the Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter.
  3. hank moon

    hank moon kinetically bulbous

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    Utah Canyoneers FB Group:

    "I chatted with the Garfield Sheriffs office today, using my SAR connections. They confirmed it was Sandthrax. Another friend (an LEO with Emery county and one of their SAR commanders), will meet with some Wayne county guys tomorrow and I hope to get some more details."
  4. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    I just chatted with a reporter from Denver Fox News - the group intended to be in Leprechaun but found themselves in Sandthrax. The SAR team got out there and did not find them in Leprechaun... "uh oh", went and got them in SandThrax. Crazy stuff. How about some person soloing out of SandThrax to go get help!!!!

    KDVR/KWGN Denver will have a story on that with SAR video tonight (Wed) or tomorrow (Thurs May 2).

    Wow!

    Tom
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  5. yetigonecrazy1

    yetigonecrazy1 yeti in the jungle

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    Surely they were angling for one of the Leps and blew it pretty badly? No way were they taking on Sandthrax?
  6. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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    Maybe we will find out tonight.
  7. Kuenn

    Kuenn

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    A better use of this misused word, this slot canyon is aptly capable of repelling those who are not ready to be there.
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  8. ratagonia

    ratagonia

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  9. Steven Nguyen

    Steven Nguyen

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    Wasn't there recently a similar case of people being rescued from Sandthrax after entering the wrong canyon?
  10. Ram

    Ram

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    Yes. A father and two of his young kids, who got to spend a night or two alone.
    http://canyoncollective.com/threads/sandthrax-rescue-march-11-2014.19299/

    I think the picture in the news report is from Tom's Rave. Taken by Hank I believe. Shows up 3 seconds into the Denver report.
    https://www.canyoneeringusa.com/rave/sandthrax-canyon

    Copter on the road at the camp? Yikes! Was that a SAR guy descending the canyon at night? Sans a helmet? Double Yikes! Anyone we know on the rescue? Getting out solo? Ya gotta do what ya gotta do!

    And no signs at the canyon head protecting the public from itself, please. The wilderness is not suppose to have a net.
    Last edited: May 4, 2019
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  11. yetigonecrazy1

    yetigonecrazy1 yeti in the jungle

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    This, x 10,000. Tired of people expecting there to be handrails and detailed direction boards out in nature. It used to be a small subset but as outdoor recreation continues to become more mainstream, its creeping more and more into general public. Seeing this more and more, even in people in my life that I would never expect those thoughts to come from.
  12. Sandemonium

    Sandemonium

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    Just went through Sandthrax for my first time on May 24th and came across a very new looking camouflaged Metolius rap bolt with a shiny quick link on it, a few feet or so above the first drilled angle in the canyon ( sorry no picture )

    This is the drop just before the crux upclimb, and we found it to be one of the best downclimbs.

    I'm guessing this was installed for this rescue,
    Any more experienced Sandthraxers know how long it has been there? or how long it will stay?
    hank moon likes this.
  13. hank moon

    hank moon kinetically bulbous

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    Thanks for the info. Sounds like you downclimbed immediately past the spot with the drilled angle / rap hanger? Most folks (I think) do not downclimb there, but stem past that silo and continue a few yards down-canyon to an easy elevator downclimb, just before the crux.

    If the bolt is good, perhaps it's time for the drilled angle to come out of there? Personally, I'd like to see all hardware removed from the canyon, but...

    BTW the recent 'Sandthrax' rescue actually took place in Middle Leprechaun (aka Shimrock). The Sandthrax name was published in error. Details coming soon.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
  14. Sandemonium

    Sandemonium

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    We downclimbed just up canyon from that hardware and stemmed around the pothole before the crux- very cool, but there are many ways one could go

    I was surprised to see so much hardware in the canyon, especially the big shiny new bolt, but it sounds like this wasn't SAR installed...

    Thanks Hank
  15. Tom Collins

    Tom Collins

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    I’ve done Sandthrax several times and some of the hardware in there surprises me. I’m baffled by how a person could get to that point in the canyon if they can’t even handle the drop as a down climb.
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  16. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

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    Time to take some tools in there...
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  17. Flatiron

    Flatiron

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    Any details yet? What canyon were they in ?
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