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Zion National Park visitors rescued after mocking rangers, hiking The Subway unprepared

Zion National Park visitors rescued after mocking rangers, hiking The Subway unprepared

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ST. GEORGE — Hikers in two separate groups visiting the popular rock formation known as The Subway in Zion National Park needed rescuing Monday after officials say they were unprepared.

One hiker who received a knee injury on the hike spent the night with rescuers before being airlifted by a helicopter. Another group spent the night in the canyon after getting lost. They were found and rescued Monday morning.

The Subway is a tubular formation within the Left Fork of North Creek in the park, and because of the popularity of the canyon, there is a lottery system for permits. For hikers starting at the top of the canyon, there is a necessary 30-foot rappel that requires ropes and technical canyoneering gear.

The Subway without ropes

One of the groups that required a rescue had disregarded and mocked a ranger’s advice when they picked up their permit to visit The Subway, according to a press release from Zion National Park.

“The ranger recommended they bring a rope and multiple harnesses for at least one of the rappels, but the leader of the group, who had been there before, said that they could cross the log and find an easier way down,” reads the press release.

At the location where a hiker received a knee injury after attempting to jump over a drop Monday, a rope is set up for the rappel into The Subway, Zion National Park, Utah, Oct. 21, 2017 | Photo by Spencer Ricks, St. George News
At the location where a hiker received a knee injury after attempting to jump over a drop Monday, a rope is set up for the rappel into The Subway, Zion National Park, Utah, Oct. 21, 2017 | Photo by Spencer Ricks, St. George News

The ranger told them that the log had washed out last year and once again recommended the gear, but the group dismissed the information and started the 9.5-mile hike without ropes or harnesses.

When the group reached the 30-foot rappel, they attempted to make the 6- or 7-foot jump to the other side of the drop, but one person landed badly and received a knee injury.

Read the full article at St. George News.

Spencer Ricks

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