Helicopter crew rescues climbers after fall in Utah slot canyon

GARFIELD COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) — A helicopter crew rescued a pair of climbers from a southern Utah slot canyon last week after one of them was injured in a fall.

The Utah Department of Public Safety said the rescue happened last Friday in Sandthrax Canyon, an area roughly 60 miles east of Capitol Reef National Park.

According to officials, three men were rock climbing in the slot canyon without gear using a technique called stemming.

Stemming involves pushing on rock walls with one’s feet, one foot on each wall, relying on friction and legwork to keep from falling.

However, one of the men fell about 15 feet into the canyon, hurting his ankle. One of the climbers then used a Garmin device to call 911.

A Garmin device works when there is no signal. Using satellite technology, those with a device can send an SOS message, so long as skies are clear.

Per a video posted in August, Garmin’s response team handles up to 400 emergency calls each week.

The search team was able to text with the three climbers, and two were hoisted out of the canyon. The video of the rescue, provided by officials, can be viewed above.

The third climber walked out of the canyon.

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