ST. GEORGE — Search and rescue officers worked in the early morning hours before the sun rose to rescue a hiker that had fallen to a ledge from a mountain ridge near Cedar City early Saturday.
The Iron County Sheriff’s deputies, Search and Rescue along with the High Angle Ropes Rescue Team responded to the incident first reported at 8 p.m. Friday evening, according to Iron County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Del Schlosser. The ropes team ended up repelling 450 feet to rescue the hiker after a helicopter rescue failed.
A 64-year-old male who had been hiking by himself called 911 after he slipped and fell approximately 100 feet from a ridge top on the Canyon’s Mouth Trail near Cedar City. Deputies said the hiker was not on or near a designated trail when he slipped and fell from a ridge top, landing on a ledge near a cliff face.
The hiker, identified as Russell Mendenhall, sustained minor injuries to his head and other parts of his body.
Due to the location, reported injuries, and inability to access the hiker, a Utah Department of Public Safety Helicopter responded from the Salt Lake City area to assist in hoisting Mendenhall from his location. However, they were unable to hoist Mendenhall due to the dangerous conditions in the area.
Members of the Ropes Rescue Team were able to hike up above the fallen hiker allowing one member to rappel approximately 450 feet down to the hiker’s location.
Mendenhall was transported directly to Cedar City Hospital by the DPS Helicopter.
The DPS helicopter then returned and retrieved the Ropes Rescue Team member from where Mendenhall had been hoisted. The remaining two members stayed until daylight so they could safely hike down the mountain.
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