An Australian BASE jumper dangled 250 feet above ground by his chute on a cliff in Mill Creek Canyon for three hours before his friends rescued him.
“The only thing holding him up was his chute,” said Grand County Sheriff Steve White.
Mathew Pittard, 21, was attempting a 350 or 450-foot jump in Left Hand Canyon when a cross wind blew and pushed him against the cliff, said Grand County Sheriff’s officials.
Pittard’s friends called 911 about 4 p.m.
Worried that Search and Rescue wouldn’t arrive in time, Pittman’s friends began their own rescue effort.
Jill Kuzman, who was BASE jumping with Pittard, called climber Daniel Moore.
“He’s like a freak of nature when it comes to climbing,” said Craig Geipel, who assisted Moore in the rescue. “Jill called Daniel and Daniel called me. We grabbed his gear and went to the trailhead at Powerhouse Lane.”
They met with Kuzman at the trailhead. It took over an hour to hike to the top of the fin from where Pittard jumped.
“We were able to place an anchor off a tree from the top and Daniel rappelled down,” Geipel said. “He assessed how he was doing, bandaged the victim, verified he was stable to move and then rappelled down to a crack where was able to create a new anchor with a cam.”
Moore was able to lower the victim to the ground, where Search and Rescue crew took over.
Pittard was flown to Moab Regional Hospital about 7 p.m. Sheriffs’ officials said he had some cuts and fractured his foot in the ordeal.
“My 100th jump and I had a cliff strike, rode the wall down for about ten feet and got hung up on the wall for three hours,” Matthew Pittard wrote on his Facebook wall. “I have a broken foot in five places and pretty battered and bruised but luckily I’m still alive.”