Two hikers ledged up, rescued from The Vortex

Area near the Vortex where two hikers were rescued after getting ledged up while hiking near Gunlock, Utah, Nov. 1, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Mike Thomas, St. George News

GUNLOCK — Two hikers were rescued Saturday after getting ledged up while hiking near Gunlock.

The hikers, both women in their 50s, got stuck on the side of a sandstone hill in an area known as the Vortex or Camelback, about a mile from the trailhead on Lower Sand Cove Road, Darrell Cashin, Washington County Sheriff’s deputy and search and rescue liaison, said.

The hikers had gotten onto a steep hill and become stuck, Cashin said, not able to retrace their path or go forward.

“They knew they got themselves into a bad position, so they just sat down and waited for us to show up and go get them,” Cashin said.

The hikers called a friend, who called the dispatch center for help. Washington County Search and Rescue was paged out at 2:30 p.m., Cashin said.

Search and Rescue responded with the west ground team consisting of six volunteer Search and Rescue volunteers. In addition, a Sheriff’s Office lieutenant and Washington County Sheriff Cory Pulsipher responded to the scene, Cashin said.

The team hiked in, located the stranded hikers and lowered them to safety with ropes, Cashin said.

Three members of the rescue team who responded to the call are also on the SAR high-angle team, so the decision was made to use ropes to get the pair down more quickly.

The hikers did the right thing by staying where they were and calling for help, Cashin said.

“Ninety-five percent of the time when people call in, we want them to stay where they are at,” Cashin said.

The only time people should move from their location after calling for help is if their life is in danger or if they need to find shade.

We’ll come, we’ll be there,” he said.

The hikers were uninjured, and the rescue operation concluded up by 5 p.m., in time for the hikers to make it to a play at Tuacahn Center for the Arts, Cashin said.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

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