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Woman wedged in narrow Utah slot canyon rescued

By Pat Reavy, KSL | Posted - Apr 29th, 2019 @ 1:32pm

SALT LAKE CITY — A woman became wedged in a narrow slot canyon Sunday night in Garfield County, prompting a long rescue effort that ended early Monday.

A group of seven people from the Denver area, ranging in age from 20 to 60, began hiking a slot canyon called Sandthrax located in the Leprechaun Canyon area near Boulder, Garfield County, on Sunday.

Garfield County sheriff's spokeswoman Denise Dastrup said the canyon, which requires rappelling in some spots, is difficult and not for beginners.

"They were not prepared at all for this kind of a hike. Very amateur in hiking. Probably shouldn't have been in this canyon. Probably should have studied it out a little more," she said.

At some point, a woman in the group became stuck while hiking in a narrow part of the canyon. One man was able to get around the woman and hike out for help, while the others were stuck behind their friend, Dastrup said.

The man who was able to hike out was able to flag down a motorist who gave him a ride into Hanksville, Wayne County, where authorities were notified about 9 p.m. Search and rescue crews from Garfield and Wayne counties were assembled as well as the Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter.

They were not prepared at all for this kind of a hike. (They were) very amateur in hiking.

–Denise Dastrup, Garfield County Sheriff's Office

Dastrup did not immediately know how long the woman was stuck or what time she was freed. She said deputies who participated in the rescue were still driving home Monday.

After she was freed, the woman was flown by helicopter to Moab Regional Hospital to be treated for hypothermia and other minor injuries, Dastrup said. The helicopter then returned to help the others, who were not injured, get out of the canyon.

Pat Reavy

KSL Weather Forecast