SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (ABC 4 UTAH) - Search and rescue crews had their hands full Friday morning after they rescued a man off a 200 foot cliff. It happened just after 2 A.M. on the mountain near Victory Road in Salt Lake City. Rescue crews say this rocky terrain is no place for hikers and although this morning’s rescue was a success, it was also a challenge.
After two hours of holding on for dear life a hiker is alive thanks to Salt Lake City heavy rescue firefighters. “ I was stuck on the mountain and I couldn't find a foot hold up or down so just turned around and started screaming help.” Says the man rescued. Lucky for him, the hollering worked and despite the dark morning hours someone noticed the hiker and called for help.
However, when heavy rescue crews arrived they were faced with limited places to anchor and had to go above the hiker and lower down.“I then was able to secure him to our rope systems and was able to lower him down to a platform where we could actually walk him out to another system out to the side,” says John Knowlton a Heavy Rescue Firefighter for Salt Lake. Knowlton also says the use of ropes alone can be tricky “That is always our biggest challenge with those rope rescues is your dealing with ropes dragging across when you’re below them. So our biggest thing was we tried to come to the side of him, came down, and then tried to manipulate the ropes so they were never dragging above our heads,” says Knowlton.
Bottom line, Knowlton says he wouldn't recommend anyone go hiking in this area. ”I could barely stand up there. I was waiting on my rope most of the time because the rocks would just slip away,” says Knowlton. Fortunately for the hiker he was able to walk away uninjured. Rescue crews also want to remind the public that if you do go hiking know the terrain that you’re hiking in and avoid starting your hike at night.