KANE COUNTY – A 27-year-old man from Missoula, Montana, was seriously injured Friday after falling approximately 40 feet while rock climbing near Church Wells in Kane County.
Kane County Dispatch received a call at 5:20 p.m. that a climber had fallen near Birthday Arch, 2.75 miles southeast of Church Wells. The injured climber was complaining of a possible dislocated shoulder and a concussion, Kane County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Alan Alldredge said in a statement.
Two friends were climbing when one of the men fell, Kane County Search and Rescue posted on its Facebook page.
Kane County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue was dispatched to help the man and Classic Aviation from Page, Arizona, was also called in to help with the rescue, Alldredge said.
Crews reached the scene by 6:45 p.m. and began setting up a rope rescue system to lower rescuers down to the man.
By 8:20 p.m., the first rescuer reached the injured man, who was loaded into a basket and raised back to the top of the cliff by 10:10 p.m., Alldredge said.
The man was then transferred to Classic Aviation’s medical crew for transport; the helicopter left the area with the injured climber about 11 p.m.
“His condition had deteriorated and he was in a great deal of pain,” Alldredge said. “Because of his severe condition and injuries, he was transported to Flagstaff Medical Center for treatment since it was the closest hospital.”
The injured man was working on a drilling rig in the area and was climbing during his time off of work. He sustained very serious injuries and was still hospitalized as of Monday afternoon, Alldredge said.
Search and rescue crews arrived back in Kanab about 1 a.m. Saturday morning.
Birthday Arch is about 17 miles from the visitors center in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
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