UCSSAR.org typically only posts a few minor details of the 80-100 rescue missions SAR performs each year. If you’d like to hear these stories in great detail, complete with thorough explanations of how the organization functions and how it feels to be a member of one of the world’s best and busiest volunteer rescue teams, then you’ll want to pick up a copy of the new book written by author, UVU writing instructor, and Utah County SAR team member Shaun Roundy.
75 Search and Rescue Stories comes complete with 150 photos and shares many of the most memorable rescue missions from the past dozen years. Many stories are intense, some will make you laugh, and others end in tragedy. Discover how SAR volunteers cope with the emotional burdens of the trauma they willingly face on a regular basis.
A portion of the $14.79 cover price supports volunteer search and rescue. Show your support to the selfless heroes who annually donate thousands of hours and thousands of dollars of their own money to rescue strangers on the worst day of their lives by ordering your copy today.
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Here are a few memorable rescue photos from years past. Click any image to see a larger version.
Not many SAR members have been around long enough to remember this helicopter!
River rescue from 10+ years ago.
Carrying a recue load atop the old Bridal Veil tram.
Riding a rescue sked out of Blowhole cave.
Utah Cave SAR member ascending out the top of Blowhole cave.
View from Life Flight of stranded climber between Upper Falls and the Fang. Continue Reading »
The hikers and a SAR member warmed rocks around a fire to stay comfortable overnight
Three hikers started from Big Springs in South Fork and hiked over Cascade Mountain when they got ledged out on the west face. Team members responded on motorcycle and foot and a rescuer reached the hikers around midnight. Two were in good condition and one felt weak due to minor illness. Due to darkness and the steep scree terrain, team members bivouced on the mountain and brought them safely across the cliffs and down the mountain in the morning.
A second group of SAR motorcycles rides toward Lightning Pass
An 11-year-old girl fell over 15′ from the Timpanogos Cave trail this afternoon and slid down the steep mountainside. SAR worked with NPS rangers and Alpine Fire, attending to the girl and setting up a rope system to bring her back to the trail in order to wheel her down the trail where Life Flight transported her to a hospital.
SAR, NPS and Alpine Fire prepare to haul the girl up to the trail.
Three hikers became trapped between 200′ cliffs near Timpanogos Cave. SAR teams rappelled to their location, then lowered the hikers to safety, with everyone returning to the highway by 2:15 a.m.
SAR expresses their gratitude to Life Flight for flying SAR member Olin Johnson to do aerial reconnaissance for route finding to the victims, and Timpanogos Cave National Monument for the use of their motorcycles to SAR-certified riders which allowed a team to begin making their way through the extreme terrain while some daylight remained.
Story and video at http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=148&sid=10803046
SST (Singletrack Special Team) members David Lynton, Bryan Irving, Shaun Roundy and Jacob Hinton deploy from the TICA parking lot
Team leader Shaun Roundy about to rappel to the ledged hikers.
SAR member David Lynton rappels to the stuck hikers
A hiker prepares to be lowered down a 200' cliff to waiting SAR teams
An 11-year-old hiker tumbled down a cliff near Bridal Veil Falls. SAR and North Fork Fire lowered him to the road in a litter.
North Fork Fire Chief Kenny Johnson and SAR member Kevin Dickerson attend to the fall victim
Three hikers descending Mount Timpanogos found themselves trapped by cliffs below in the dark and spent a cold night in the Primrose Cirque above Aspen Grove.
One hiker descended to the parking lot in the morning and called 911. SAR teams reached the other hikers and assisted them down. One hiker reported a leg injury which rendered her unable to walk, but felt better as she warmed up.
A cool night provided a good refreeze of the snow pack and allowed SAR just enough time to complete the mission before warming temps caused avalanche danger to rise.
SAR teams make their way up the mountain with crampons, axes, avalanche and other gear.
A SAR member crosses a snowfield to where the hikers spent the night.
The third hiker takes a break half way down the mountain with avalanche debris in the background.
John Edward Jones became trapped in a narrow passage in Nutty Putty Cave. Every effort was made to rescue John, but about 27 hours after becoming stuck, he passed away.
SAR expresses our deepest regrets to his family, whose unfailing support of and gratitude for our efforts is greatly appreciated.
This tragic event received a great deal of national media attention and has spurred much debate on what more could have been done. Besides the highly-skilled cavers on SAR, others of the best cavers and cave rescue teams from throughout the state who witnessed the situation first hand deemed the rescue “hopeless” due to the extremely tight constrictions (18″), many tight corners (up to 270 degrees), and several other equally-problematic factors.
This is the first incident in over ten years (possibly much longer) that Utah County SAR has located an accident victim alive and failed to deliver them alive to other care givers.
We express our gratitude to the dozens of professional cave and rescue agencies who volunteered their expertise and equipment to assist in this effort.
Following this event, the decision was made to permanently close the cave, which was located on state education trust land. The entrance has since been filled with concrete.
JUNE 2011 UPDATE: Read many more details of this and other rescues in the brand-new book 75 Search and Rescue Stories.
SAR member Shaun Roundy places a bolt to eliminate rope drag in the Drain Pipe area
Here are the photos that appear in the top right corner of the page with a few notes about each one:
Team members carry an injured hiker down Timpanogos’ Primrose Cirque in our wheeled stretcher.
A Singletrack Special Team member transports an automated electronic defibrilator (AED) to a hiker complaining of chest pain several miles up the trail.
A team member puts on his crampons during a prolonged search for an avalanche victim on Timpanogos.
Two stranded climbers are rescued in Provo Canyon.
Team members approach the summit ridge of Mount Nebo to assist an injured hiker.
A team member rappels during a training exercise.
Responding to a report of a car rollover atop West Mountain.
Squeezing through the “birth canal” in Nutty Putty Cave.
Ice climbing Provo Canyon’s “Stairway to Heaven” during a training exercise.
Life Flight prepares to land in the Lone Peak Cirque to evacuate an injured climber.
UCSSAR team members assist Summit County rescue teams in a search following a massive backcountry avalanche near The Canyons resort.
Team members leave Nutty Putty after successfully helping a stuck caver.
A team member is lowered during a recertification exercise for the Mountain Rescue Association.
Life Flight helicopters assist a multiple-victim accident in the backcountry.
A team member skis backcountry powder during a training exercise.
A team member rappels with his dog during a training exercise in Battle Creek Canyon.