Hikers Plucked Off Southern Utah Cliff

Hikers Plucked Off Southern Utah Cliff

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ESCALANTE, Utah (AP) -- Three hikers who got stranded on a ledge in southern Utah are safe after a daring helicopter rescue.

The men were plucked from the cliff Tuesday morning -- but first, rescuers had to be lowered with chain saws to cut enough trees for the helicopter to rest a leg against their ledge.

The hikers -- Fred Harsh, 32, of Lehi; Mike Macy, 30, of Clarkston, Mich.; and Brad Crawford, 29, of Annapolis, Md. -- set off into Death Hollow Canyon on Thursday. They were expected to meet a guide at the end of the trail on Sunday but didn't show.

The search began on Monday, when they were spotted just before dark -- but the helicopter couldn't rescue them right away.

The men were visiting the 25,751-acre Box Death Hollow wilderness area, which contains two tributaries of the Escalante River, just outside the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. The hike involved as much wading in stream pools as walking.

Harsh told The Salt Lake Tribune the group got lost, then scaled a 50-foot cliff for safety from potential flash floods, where they found themselves trapped.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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