“They were not prepared at all for this kind of a hike. Very amateur in hiking,” Denise Dastrup, a spokeswoman for the Garfield County sheriff’s department, told the News. “Probably shouldn’t have been in this canyon. Probably should have studied it out a little more.”
Slot canyons are formed when water rushes through rock, eroding it and carving deep rather than wide gaps. Most of the slot canyons in the United States are located in southern Utah and the idea of being trapped in one is terrifying for anyone who has read Aron Ralston’s account of his experience after becoming trapped in a southeastern Utah canyon and having to cut off his arm. Ralston’s book, “Between a Rock and a Hard Place,” was made into the movie “127 Hours.”
Dastrup noted that the canyon is not for beginners and requires some rappelling.
It wasn’t immediately known how long the woman was trapped or when she was freed. She was flown by helicopter to Moab Regional Hospital, where she was treated for hypothermia and minor injuries, according to Dastrup. The other hikers were not injured and it is not clear how long all of them were trapped.
The Garfield County sheriff’s department reminded hikers of the importance of being “overprepared” for any possible situation and for scouting the area to be hiked. “Always make sure you have plenty of water and food,” it said in a Facebook post. “We have some amazing areas to hike in our county and one of our biggest concerns is the safety of all individuals.”