Search and rescue teams make daring rescue outside Cedar City

An injured hiker in a hard-to-access location was rescued Friday night, Aug. 7, 2020, by Iron County SAR and multiple other agencies. Photos: Iron County Sheriff's Office/Facebook

IRON COUNTY, Utah, Aug. 8, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — An injured hiker in a hard-to-access location was rescued Friday night after multiple agencies responded to assist him.

Cedar Communications received a 911 call from the injured man at about 8 p.m.

Russell Mendenhall, age 64, was hiking alone at the top of a mountain ridge, Canyon’s Mouth Trail, near Cedar City, a news release from the Iron County Sheriff’s Office says.

He wasn’t on or near a designated trail when he slipped and fell approximately 100 feet and landed on a ledge near a cliff face, according to the news release.

Sheriff’s deputies, Search and Rescue, and the High Angle Ropes Rescue Team went to the area, and the Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter from Salt Lake City also was called because of the location, reported injuries, and difficulty in reaching the injured man.

The DPS helicopter was unable to hoist Mendenhall because of the dangerous conditions.

“Members of the Ropes Rescue Team were able to hike up above Mendenhall, allowing one member to rappel approximately 450 feet down to his location. Mendenhall was secured until the DPS Helicopter was able to hoist him from the side of the cliff face.”

Mendenhall was taken directly to Cedar City Hospital by the helicopter where he was treated for minor head injuries.

“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,” the news release says.

Early Saturday morning, Southern Utah University Aviation helped retrieve the gear and other items left by the Ropes Team.


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