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The official Heaps report-

Discussion in 'Archives - Yahoo Canyons Group' started by Rick, Oct 16, 2012.

  1. Rick

    Rick Guest

    Zion National Park (UT) Two Canyoneers Rescued From Heaps Canyon



    On Saturday, October 6th, a 41-year-old man and a 26-year-old woman began a trip through Heaps Canyon, one of the park's more difficult canyoneering routes due to its length, cold water, a 300-foot free hanging rappel, and numerous obstacles, including slick rock potholes. Because of its length and difficulty, those who wish to complete Heap's Canyon as a day trip typically get a pre-dawn start. However, when this pair received their required wilderness permit around 9 am on Saturday, they said that their intention was to complete the canyon in one day. When park staff informed them they would not be able to complete the trip before dark, they said that they were prepared to spend the night. While the two were never reported overdue, rangers did note that their vehicle was still parked at a trailhead on the morning of Monday, October 8th. The Grand Canyon NP helicopter was requested in order to conduct a search. The helicopter crew found the canyoneers in the lower reaches of Heaps Canyon late that afternoon. After three days of travelling, the two had only completed about two-thirds of the canyon and had not gotten past some of its most difficult obstacles. The crew inserted a radio to the pair, who said that they couldn't complete the canyon without assistance. The woman reportedly sprained her ankle and was also having difficulty with the cold. On the morning of October 9th, a ranger and firefighter were inserted on a bench above the two canyoneers. They cleared a helispot, which made it possible for the helicopter to land with additional rescuers. The six-member rescue team lowered a medic from the bench 125 feet down to the stranded pair and then hauled all three people back to the bench. The two canyoneers did not require medical assistance. The experience and competence of the Grand Canyon pilot, manager, and ranger/medic were instrumental in ensuring the successful completion of this complex operation. Had rangers not noticed the canyoneers' vehicle at the trailhead, it is unclear when or if the two would have been reported overdue. Wilderness hikers should always inform someone of their plans along with an expected exit time. The pair also had far less experience than most Heaps Canyon travelers. The man, the more experienced of the two, had previously rappelled through several of Zion's easy to moderate canyoneering routes and had some top rope and gym climbing experience. [Submitted by Ray O'Neil, Plateau District Ranger]
  2. TomJones

    TomJones Guest

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "Rick" <gone2moab@...> wrote:
    The man, the more experienced of the two, had previously rappelled through several of Zion's easy to moderate canyoneering routes and had some top rope and gym climbing experience.

    Hmmmmmmmmm.....

    It would be interesting to know how they picked this particular adventure.

    T
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