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Climber rescued hours after fall in Utah slot canyon

First Published      Last Updated Apr 03 2014 05:48 pm

A canyoneer got stuck in a Wayne County canyon Thursday and was stranded for almost 11 hours until crews rescued him from freezing temperatures.

The 32-year-old Taylorsville, Matt Hickenlooper, was with a friend in Alcatraz Canyon, near Hanksville, when he slipped while stemming through slots within the canyon, according to a Wayne County press release.

Hickenlooper became wedged inside the slot about 2:30 p.m., wrote spokeswoman Kassidee Brown. His friend was unable to extricate him, so he continued through the canyon to call for help. Eventually the friend was able to get cell service and call 911.

Rescue teams arrived about 10:30 p.m., as the temperature dropped below 30 degrees. A high-angle rescue team was flown into the canyon to rappel down to Hickenlooper; they reached him at 1:17 a.m. Thursday.

Hickenlooper initially appeared to have escaped injury, but he began suffering severe stomach pains as he reached the trailhead. He was taken to Castleview Hospital in Price, Brown wrote. Deputies had not received further word as to his condition as of Thursday night.


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