Brave rescuers perform tricky operation to rescue Moab hiker who injured ankle jumping over "sharp, catastrophic drop"

Morning light illuminates the underside of Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A rescue team from Grand County Emergency Medical Services had to perform technical rescue after a man in his 60s became stranded on top of a hoodoo at Pucker Pass, Long Canyon. The man, who hasn't been named, injured his ankle leaping across what the rescuers called a "sharp, catastrophic drop".

The team used ropes and a ladder to span the 5ft gap between the hoodoo and the canyon rim, and a medical technician crawled across wearing a helmet and harness, and carrying her first aid kit.

"There Jensen secured the patient with a harness, helmet, and ropes before attending to his injuries," Grand County EMS wrote in an Instagram post. "The patient was able to use the ladder to cross safely back. Crews departed the scene at 1745."

The Moab tourism office warns visitors that although beautiful, the desert environment is unpredictable, and hikers should take care not to underestimate supplies or overestimate their abilities.

Grand County Search and Rescue warns that when hiking desert trails, you should double the time estimates given in your guide books and "be honest in assessing your skill and fitness levels. Some of Grand County’s trails can be extremely difficult, even for experts."

Cellular coverage is notoriously poor, but taking a phone could still save your life in an emergency. You should also carry extra clothing for extreme temperature changes in case you're out after dark, food, lots of water, a light, a fire starter, and a first aid kit.

Common sense can't be underestimated, either. "As we head into another beautiful weekend here in Moab, remember - just 'cause ya saw a picture of it online, doesn't always mean it's the best idea," said Grand County EMS.

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.