NPS Digest is reporting that the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park’s SAR team and Ouray Mountain Rescue successfully evacuated an injured hiker from the Black Canyon’s S.O.B. Route Saturday evening. The operation – possibly the longest scree evacuation in recent years – required the efforts of 20 rescuers and support staff, took more than 24 hours, and required the establishment of multiple hauling stations to move the injured hiker through thick brush up 1800 feet of loose rock and boulders, cliffs and ledges.
Rangers responded to a SPOT locator signal late Friday. An EMT and a paramedic spent the night with the injured Colorado Springs man, stabilized his broken lower leg, and provided support until the rescue could begin early Saturday morning.
The park warns that there are no maintained or marked trails into the inner canyon. "Routes are difficult to follow, and only individuals in excellent physical condition should attempt these hikes." The S.O.B. Route is suggested for the first time North Rim inner canyon hiker. It drops 1800 feet to the Gunnison River in just 1.75 miles.