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Utah climber rescued after hair is caught in rappelling gear

Grand County EMS personnel had to create a multistage, complex rope system amidst challenging windy, rainy conditions

By Brooke Baitinger
The Charlotte Observer

MOAB, Utah — A climber dangled from a canyon cliff during an intense storm in Utah after her hair got tangled in her rappelling gear, dramatic photos show.

The woman in her 50s was injured in the incident at the Bow and Arrow Canyoneering Route in Moab just before 9 p.m. on Monday, May 20, Grand County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue and Grand County EMS said on Facebook. The route is located south of Arches National Park.

Dramatic photos show her dangling just below the tip of the dark canyon with a drop of hundreds of feet below her.

Her climbing companions had untangled her hair and lowered her to a stable shelf on the cliff when rescue crews arrived, officials said. Her friends had bandaged her injuries, but she wouldn’t be able to safely escape the canyon.

Paramedics further treated her injuries and strapped her into a rescue litter as rescuers set up an intricate lowering system, officials said. The rescuers navigated her through the “multistage, complex rope system” as strong winds tore through the canyon and whipped rain into them.

The rescue took about four hours, officials said. Rescuers praised the climber’s canyoneering companions “for their calm and effective response in attending to their injured friend and aiding in the rescue effort.”

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