Back Injury in Kolob Canyons

September 18, 2016 Posted by: Zion National Park
On September 18, 2016 a Ranger at the Kolob Canyons visitor center took a report from 2 reporting parties of an injured man at Kolob Arch. The injury was reported to be a back injury and the subject was not able to move. A plan was made to send in a medic and two more, all prepared to spend the night with the subject if he was unable to move and plan for a litter carry-out in the morning. Kolob arch is 7.5 miles from the Lee Pass trailhead and a carry out from that location is very long, strenuous and difficult. Due to the late hour of the report a carryout that day would not have happened.
During preparation, the Ranger who took the initial report did more investigating and determined that the injury took place at Double Arch alcove in Taylor Creek and not at Kolob Arch. Double Arch alcove is a much shorter trail so a litter team was activated. During the teams response the subject was able to hike out under his own power and once at the trailhead, refused medical attention.
Lessons Learned: Be a good reporting party. Know where your injured party is and be able to direct rescuers there. Small differences in terminology or place names can mean drastic differences in the tactics needed for rescue.

Kolob Canyons, Hiking

Last updated: November 10, 2016

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