[Photo: Grand County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue]

The Grand County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team, based in Moab, is known as the busiest rescue team in the state. Over one 11 day period early this month, responders helped people at 12 incidents ranging from all-night searches to technical rope rescues. On April 12, first responders were called to four incidents on a single day.

GCSAR has technical rope expertise, and for good reason in canyon country. On April 11, a 23-year-old Moab woman injured her ankle after falling in a slot canyon in the Mill Creek drainage. Not one but two technical rope rescue systems were required to help the woman get to an area where she could be evacuated by helicopter.

Other incidents included a possible heart attack on the Steelbender Trail, injuries at the waterfall in Mill Creek’s Left Hand Canyon (last year’s prime location for injuries) and the Sidewinder Trail in the Bar-M area, a motorcycle crash in Pritchett Canyon, and overnight rescue searches at Fisher Towers, Dead Horse Point State Park and the Dome Plateau area.

Two of these overnight searches were due to hikers and travelers who became lost and stranded in the dark, according to the GCSAR Facebook page. The team reminds everyone headed outdoors to always carry a flashlight or headlamp, even on afternoon hikes.