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Two taken to hospital after ice climbing accident

By Sandra Yi | Posted - Jan 23rd, 2013 @ 6:55pm


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PROVO CANYON — After an ice climbing accident, a woman was left badly injured and a man climbing with her also sustained injury.

The woman, along with a male friend, was climbing in the popular area known as the "Stairway to Heaven" about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday when she fell about 40 feet. Provo Fire Battalion Chief Tom Augustus noted that other climbers had mentioned to officials, "The ice has dried out a little and is brittle right now."

The man she was climbing with, who is in his 30s, was hit by falling ice debris and suffered minor injuries, but was able to scale down the frozen waterfall.

Their names were not immediately released.

The Provo Mountain Rescue team was training Wednesday morning, so the team was able to quickly arrive. When they got the scene, the woman was 350 to 400 feet up the slope and had stopped breathing.

They used a rigging system to move her about 50 feet to a more level area to give her medical assistance.

"The biggest challenge that we have right now is we don't want to get anyone else hurt," Augustus said.

Once down the mountain face, the woman was transported by AirMed in stable condition to University Hospital.

The man was transported to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center.

Authorities say Bridal Veil Falls is one of the premier ice climbing venues in the country, but it's inherently risky.

"Ice climbing in and of itself is one of the things that your mom and dad probably wouldn't want you to do," Augustus said. "...It's fun, it's exhilarating, but it's very dangerous."

Contributing: Pat Reavy

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