ZION NATIONAL PARK – A young man hiking the Angels Landing trail in Zion National Park Friday fell 20-30 feet off the trail and ended up spending the night there until Zion Search and Rescue could remove him safely.
Aammata Xaymounty, 23, was about 10 minutes out from Scout Lookout, a viewpoint junction of the West Rim Trail and the final route to the summit of Angels Landing, when he seems to have puposefully gone off-route, Zion Park Spokeswoman Alyssa Baltrus said. He then slipped and fell 20-30 feet onto a ledge,
Rescue crews were able to reach Xaymounty and stabilize him Friday night, Baltrus said. He suffered a broken ankle, low back pain and a head laceration but they had to stay the night with him until daylight to complete the rescue.
On Saturday morning, a Grand Canyon National Park rescue helicopter assisted in the rescue with a short haul from Scout Lookout down to the lawn of the Zion Lodge. He was then transported by Springdale Ambulance to Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George.
This incident was the third Search and Rescue operation of note within one week’s time. On Monday, a climber fell 100 feet in the park’s Behunin Canyon and survived; on Thursday, a climber fell over 100 feet into a remote canyon of the left fork of North Creek near the “Subway” and did not survive.
The Grand Canyon National Park rescue helicopter that helped with Xaymounty’s rescue Saturday also successfully assisted Zion crews in recovering the body of Cheri Hass, who had fallen near the “Subway” on Thursday. It was a risky recovery because of where she fell, Baltrus said, and the Grand Canyon helicopter was called in having worked well with Zion Search and Rescue on other difficult rescues and recoveries in the past.
Zion National Park has had a lot of search and rescue operations this season, Baltrus said, but Hass’s death on Thursday was the only death that has occurred in the park.
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