] [ Introduction ] [ Warning ] [ Ratings
] [ Ethics ] [ Feedback ] [ Updates
Zion National Park
Saturday, September 1, 2001, a father and son intending to descend Mystery Canyon made a navigational error and entered the wrong
drainage. After spending the night in the canyon the father was able to descend the
canyon to a point where he could call for help to the tourists below hiking the Temple of
the Sinawava Trail. Zion Search and Rescue, considered one of the best high angle
rescue teams in the country, removed the trapped canyoneers from the canyon wall Sunday
After viewing the picture above, the following account
was graciously supplied by Bo Beck, a participating member of the Zion Search and Rescue
Since I didn't interview Richard and Blake I'm not sure as to
all of the rhymes and reasons, however I do know that 175' of rope, 50' of webbing and a
bunch of 5mm accessory cord is what is seen in the picture. Apparently the accessory
cord got snagged on the way down, however when I finally got down to the bottom there was
a large pile of cord on the ground, must have unsnagged at some point!
When we arrived just above Blake (20' down in
a horizontal oriented slot with a nice sandy bottom) we set an anchor that I used to
rappel to Blake to supply him with Gatorade, then continued down to Richard to supply the
same and insure that he was secure. Both were in good spirits, definitely ready to
arrive at terra firma, dehydrated (mostly Richard from being exposed to the elements) and
tired of just hanging out.
I jugged back up, waited for a 600' rope to
arrive, (we already had 2-300's). We used 2 separate anchors, 1 for belay, 1 for lower;
the 2-300's were our belay which using a Radium LRH we were able to pass a knot without
interruption, the 600' was used for the lower. Belay was done using tandem 8mm
prussiks and lower was accomplished using brake rack with bars and a hyperbar. The
main and belay were tied together using interlocking longtail bowlines. I clipped
into an inline figure 8 about 4' above the interlocking bowlines and prussik backup on the
belay. Once I was lowered to Blake I clipped him directly into the interlocking
bowlines and tied him into the longtail of the main, we then were lowered tandem to
Richard at which point I clipped him into the inline figure 8 and tied him into the
longtail of the belay, I then transferred onto Richards hanging rope and the team then
lowered Blake and Richard tandem to the ground.
Once down the mainline was fixed which we
rappelled down on, last man down tied the 300's and 600' together, we anchored the 300's
to a tree and he rode the 600 down' then we pulled the 300's to retrieve the 600. As
for how Richard and Blake faired, I think they are quite happy to have gotten down OK but
they can probably fill you in more as to the whole situation. Hope that this answers
a few questions?
Bo Beck - Zion
Search and Rescue - September 5, 2001
incident above should serve as a warning to everyone who explores the backcountry.
The rewards are tremendous, but the cost can be steep. There is no substitute for
experience, skill and common sense. Please use caution in your backcountry travels.
[ Homepage ] [ Introduction ] [ Warning
] [ Ratings ] [ Ethics ] [ Feedback
] [ Updates ]
© Copyright 2001, Shane Burrows