Fall on Rock, Utah, Zion National Park, Moonlight Buttress

Publication Year: 2009.


Utah, Zion National Park, Moonlight Buttress

Early on the afternoon of March 24th, a climber (40) who was following the first pitch of the Moonlight Buttress took an unexpectedly long pendulum swing, struck the rock wall, and sustained an incapacitating hip injury. One of his partners descended and reported the accident to a shuttle bus driver. Rangers responded and reached the injured man via a short technical climb to the small ledge he was resting on, which was about 50 feet above the talus slope at the base of the route. He was packaged and lowered via a guiding line system to a waiting litter team that carried him down the scree slope and across the Virgin River to a waiting park ambulance.

Doctors diagnosed his injury as a fractured pelvis. The rescue involved 14 park staffers and was completed during daylight hours. Ranger Andrew Fitzgerald was the operations supervisor. (Source from a report by Bonnie Schwartz, Chief Ranger, Zion National Park)