After training for years, on June 2 park rangers at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park executed their first short-haul rescue in the park.
It involved a man who had taken a 50-foot lead climbing fall on the Scenic Cruise climbing route in Cruise Gully. Despite having a broken ankle, the 43-year-old climber from South Jordan, Utah was able to rappel to the base of the route. Rangers responded to the scene and arranged for a short haul rescue to the south rim helicopter landing pad.
Short haul is the transportation of personnel suspended under a helicopter on a fixed line. Black Canyon rangers have been training with Mesa Verde Helitack for the last two years.
The park is in southwest Colorado northeast of Montrose.
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Author: Bill Gabbert
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