Boy Scouts rescue hiker injured in 60ft Hells Canyon fall

Snake River in Hells Canyon, USA
(Image credit: Getty)

A troop of Boy Scouts have saved the life of a hiker badly injured in a fall in Hells Canyon, on the border of Idaho and Oregon.

As The Seattle Times reports, Eric Valentine, a former Scoutmaster himself, was taking photos in the canyon earlier this month when he lost his footing trying to get a milkweed plant off his boots. He fell 60ft down a slope, and suffered a fractured back, cracked tibia, broken ankle, and three broken vertebrae in his neck.

Thankfully for Valentine, over 20 members of Eagle’s Boy Scout Troop 77 happened to be on a canoeing expedition on Snake River at the bottom of the canyon, and sprang into action when they spotted Valentine attempting to crawl to the trail.

Former firefighter Steve Rasulo also happened to be in the area, and worked with the boys to tend to Valentine's injuries and make him comfortable until help arrived. Meanwhile, Assistant Scoutmaster Nate Bondelid contacted emergency services using a satellite communicator.

Valentine was taken to a trailhead by boat, then to Saint Alphonsus Regional Rehabilitation Hospital in Boise by helicopter. He underwent surgery, and hopes to return home to La Grande, Oregon, soon.

"I asked God to send angels," Valentine told members of the Troop from his hospital bed on Monday. "He sent me the Boy Scouts.”

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.