Tag Archives: Rescue

NPS Rescue Canyoneer Stuck in Pandora’s Box

Sometimes people don’t quite fit through a section of slot canyon. Granted, often people don’t think they will fit, only to prove themselves wrong with enough grunting, squeezing, crawling, writhing, undressing, greasing, and sucking in. But on occasion, after all the maneuvering and masticating, you can find yourself just plain stuck. What to do then? If you wait long enough, you will eventually become thinner. But since that idea is admittedly unpleasant, most pursue other options. The following report comes from a recent NPS Morning Report, detailing the quasi-self-rescue two canyoneers carried out when one of them didn’t fit through a portion of Pandora’s Box. Sounds like these guys knew what they were doing, but didn’t anticipate the problem they ran into. Regardless, kudos to Partner 1 for finding help, and to Partner 2 for spending a long, probably cold night alone while waiting for help to arrive. If you’re curious to see more of Pandora’s Box, check out this Latest Rave from 2007. Capitol Reef National Park (UT) Canyoneer Rescued From Pandora’s Box On Monday, September 6th, rangers rescued a canyoneer who was unable to complete his planned route due to an inability to make it through a narrow … Continue reading

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Spry Flash Flood Survivors Recount Their Story

We posted a couple articles last week regarding a group of canyoneers who were dangerously caught in a flood in Spry Canyon on July 24. The Las Vegas Review-Journal caught up with these gentlemen (below) after they recovered to gather their account of the story. Lessons? 1. The “chance of rain” for any particular day is relatively unimportant. Rain is VERY point-specific in canyon country. A mountain can easily block the isolated black storm cloud that is right around the corner. 2. In a flooding situation, find high ground and make a plan to find higher ground if needed. These guys did a good job making contingency plans once they recovered their team. 3. ALWAYS carry a headlamp, even when you don’t anticipate being out late. Light is essential for finding your way when things go awry, or alerting help (as in this situation). 4. An early start is almost always a good idea. Most (but not all) Zion storms hit in the afternoon. By starting out early (5:00 – 7:00 a.m. is not unreasonable during storm season), you get the canyon to yourself, the air temperatures are much cooler for your hike in, and you have a much larger … Continue reading

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Recent Accidents & Incidents in Zion

Every day, the National Park Service issues a Morning Report, a daily report of accidents, incidents, operational notes, upcoming trainings, and hiring opportunities across the National Park system. The Morning Report not only provides a more objective, concise report of accidents/incidents (though perhaps less detailed) than we often find in the news, but it can provide great opportunities to learn from others mistakes and remember the degree of risk we must manage in the outdoors. Below are a couple of articles detailing recent serious accidents in Zion’s backcountry. Our continued thanks goes to Zion’s Search and Rescue (SAR) personnel for their efforts they take to prepare and respond to those who need help when their adventures go awry. Zion National Park (UT) Boy Scout Dies During Backpacking Trip On July 21st, twelve members of a Las Vegas-based Boy Scout troop were completing the second day of a planned four day backpacking trip in the park.  Corey Buxton, 17, was having difficulty and lagged behind as the group hiked south along the Hop Valley Trail.  Around noon, a leader who was hiking a short distance in front of Buxton turned around and did not see him. He hiked five minutes back … Continue reading

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