Fallen Hiker at Mt. Charleston

Friday, July 29, 2011

Yesterday morning, SAR units were dispatched to an area above the Big Falls trail at Mt. Charleston in response to reports of three stranded hikers, one of which had fallen 70 feet. Two officers were initially flown in by Huey where they located one of the stranded hikers. While rescuing the hiker, they learned that one of the hikers was able to return to the parking lot on their own while the other hiker had fallen off of the cliff face in front of them after a branch that he had been hanging onto broke.

While conducting the rescue for the stranded hiker, winds in the canyon began to increase, making it difficult to use the helicopter. As a result, Mountain Rescue volunteers were called to the area to help with the hiker who had fallen.

Seven volunteers responded and joined one officer in hiking to the base of the cliff, just behind Mt. Charleston Fire Department personnel. The two officers who had helped to rescue the stranded hiker began making their way down the cliff face. The fallen hiker's body was initially discovered by fire personnel. Rescue teams estimate the actual fall to be upwards of 150 feet.

Trail to Big Falls - Hiking in

LVMPDSAR officers documented the scene and volunteers helped to extricate the fallen hiker. Because of the remote location, the body was lowered approximately 400 feet in the direction of the hiking trail that leads to Big Falls. By this time, winds had died down, so the 500 was called in to short haul the fallen hiker and rescue personnel out of the canyon.

Waiting for the 500 to arrive

500 coming in to short haul

LVMPDSAR sends its deepest condolences to family and friends of the fallen hiker.

Several local news agencies reported on the story: