Insomnia Canyon Injury - Mike McEntire

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Dschur
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Insomnia Canyon Injury - Mike McEntire

Post by Dschur » Aug 17 2011 3:15 pm

Man rescued from canyon after 36 hours
Payson man alive after falling 140 feet in Sedona
By Alexis Bechman

August 16, 2011
In one of the most dramatic rescues of the year, a Payson man was found alive after falling 140 feet in a popular Sedona canyon.

It took rescuers more than 36 hours, 2,400 feet of rappelling rope and several helicopter attempts to get Mike McEntire to safety after he fell in a Sedona canyon.

McEntire, 36, was canyoneering with friends Saturday afternoon in West Fork when he lost control of a rappelling rope and fell 100 feet onto a rock.

McEntire fell another 40 feet before ending up roughly 1,800 feet below the canyon rim. McEntire had serious head and internal injuries from the fall, likely including a fractured pelvis, said Rex Gilliland, with the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office.

Due to his remote location, rescuers used 2,400 feet of rope to rappel down eight sections. This on top of three swims required to reach him, Gilliland said.



By midnight, two members of the Coconino County Search and Rescue Technical Rescue Team reached McEntire, where they stayed with him throughout the night.

But the rescue was far from over.

On Sunday morning, a Department of Public Safety helicopter was unable to reach McEntire due to his location.

Using ropes, rescuers mechanically raised McEntire 500 feet up the canyon wall. McEntire was then airlifted a short distance and transferred to a Native Air helicopter that flew him to a Valley hospital.

Helicopters were then used to haul rescuers out of the canyon.

More than 25 rescue and medical personnel responded, including those from Coconino County Search and Rescue, Sedona Fire District, Flagstaff Fire Department, Guardian Medical Transport, Flagstaff Medical Center, Native Air and Department of Public Safety helicopters out of Kingman and Phoenix.
Dawn
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Re: West Fork Oak Creek

Post by tibber » Aug 17 2011 4:22 pm

escuers used 2,400 feet of rope to rappel down eight sections. This on top of three swims required to reach him, Gilliland said.
:o

I hope he will be okay.

And :worthy: to the rescuers. INCREDIBLE!
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.

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Re: West Fork Oak Creek

Post by hikeaz » Aug 17 2011 10:40 pm

On Saturday, August 13th, 36 year-old Mike McEntire from Payson, AZ, was canyoneering with several friends in Insomnia Canyon, a tributary of West Fork near Sedona. Mike was on the final 150 feet of a 350-foot rappel when he lost control, picking up speed, and fell about 100 feet. He struck a rock on the way down and then fell another 40 feet, ending up a total of 1,800 feet below the rim with multiple injuries. Two of his friends continued down canyon and made the long trip out to get help, while two others remained behind with Mike.

Once emergency services were notified of the accident, more than 25 rescuers from multiple agencies responded, including Coconino County Sheriff's Search and Rescue, Sedona Fire District, Flagstaff Fire Department, Guardian ($$) Medical Transport, Department of Public Safety helicopters out of Kingman and Phoenix, and Native Air.

Two of the volunteers from Search and Rescue had to make eight rappels and three swims to reach the patient late Saturday night and remained with him, rendering medical care while other rescuers rappelled with the Stokes litter, additional medical equipment, and gear for setting up lowering and raising systems, main and belay lines. About 2,600 feet of rope was needed.

An attempt by a DPS helicopter crew was made at first light on Sunday to short haul the patient from his original location, but the slot canyon was too tight for the aircraft. So the patient was then raised by rescuers 800 feet to a ledge where he could be accessed for the short haul, which took place at 1pm at Sunday, at least 24-hours after he'd fallen. Two rescuers accompanied the patient on the raise, while two others continued down canyon with the patient's uninjured friends, including at least a couple more rappels and then a lengthy hike out. They were met en route by fire personnel, who'd hiked in from the Call-o-the-Canyon trailhead to assist them with carrying gear after their exhausting time in the canyon.
After the patient was removed from the canyon and flown to a hospital in Phoenix, where he's since been upgraded from critical to serious condition, came the arduous task for the rescuers of getting themselves and their gear out of the canyon, with a 1,000-foot elevation difference between their location and the rim. This involved ascending ropes one by one, hauling both their own body weight and heavy gear with their spent muscles.

Several rescuers were able to make the difficult climb, but given the stormy monsoon weather that was moving in, the time of day, and their extreme exhaustion, six of the remaining rescuers were short hauled to the rim by DPS. DPS also assisted with this rescue by lowering a cargo net full of fluids to the rescuers and hauling off two nets full of gear.

Rescue personnel were assisted by volunteer members of Coconino County C.E.R.T. (Community Emergency Response Team), who drove our weary group back to Flagstaff. Their help was much needed and appreciated.

Regarding the patient ... In a comment on a Hiking Examiner article, Mike McEntire's mother writes, "He did break both his heels, and his pelvis in six places. He also fractured his spine and had internal bleeding. The internal bleeding seems to have stopped. He will need to have more surgeries and procedures and it will be at least 3 months before he is able to walk again."

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Re: Insomnia Canyon Injury

Post by big_load » Aug 17 2011 11:01 pm

hikeaz wrote:Regarding the patient ... In a comment on a Hiking Examiner article, Mike McEntire's mother writes, "He did break both his heels, and his pelvis in six places. He also fractured his spine and had internal bleeding. The internal bleeding seems to have stopped. He will need to have more surgeries and procedures and it will be at least 3 months before he is able to walk again."
Considering the severity of the fall, this is a surprisingly good prognosis.

Congratulations to all who worked so hard and risked so much in the rescue effort and its aftermath.

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Re: Insomnia Canyon Injury - Mike McEntire

Post by writelots » Aug 18 2011 12:56 pm

What a tale! All my best wishes to Mike and hearty thanks to the rescuers. Amazing.
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Re: Insomnia Canyon Injury - Mike McEntire

Post by JoelHazelton » Aug 18 2011 5:32 pm

Wow! On Sunday, my sister, her husband and I headed in via Call o the Canyon for an overnight backpack. We passed several rescuers heading out. To say they looked beat and tired would be an absolute understatement. One who had the energy to chat for a minute described it as "the 24 hours from hell". Kudos to everyone involved in such a grueling rescue and best wishes to Mike for a full recovery.
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Re: Insomnia Canyon Injury - Mike McEntire

Post by hikeaz » Aug 24 2011 8:18 am

azpride wrote:Wow! On Sunday, my sister, her husband and I headed in via Call o the Canyon for an overnight backpack. We passed several rescuers heading out. To say they looked beat and tired would be an absolute understatement. One who had the energy to chat for a minute described it as "the 24 hours from hell". Kudos to everyone involved in such a grueling rescue......
Climber miraculously survives 140-foot fall

By Alexis Bechman

A Payson man who miraculously survived a 140-foot fall thanks to a grueling and dramatic rescue this week battled to recover after several operations, including one to reattach his pelvis to his spine on Friday.

Mike McEntire, 36, nearly died Aug. 13 in a Sedona canyon after losing control of a climbing rope and plummeting down a rocky ledge.

McEntire battled intense pain from internal bleeding and broken bones for more than 24 hours and later told his wife Amber that only the determination to return to his wife and four children kept him alive.

Even that would not have been enough without the heroic efforts of rescue personnel and six climbing friends — one who ran miles up and down the canyon looking for a cell signal and others who stayed with him throughout the night.

After breaking both heels, several vertebrae and shattering his pelvis in six places, McEntire has an agonizing recovery ahead. Doctors say he may be walking again in three months, but will likely never canyoneer again.

And all it took was one split-second bad decision. McEntire told his wife he was "showing off" as doctors wheeled him into the hospital. McEntire, a veteran of more than 100 canyoneering trips, said he went too fast down a rappel.

A phone interview with Amber shed new light on what happened in that dark, damp canyon.

McEntire, a retired Payson dentist, and six friends, including a pharmacist, physical therapist and several engineers, loaded up their gear and headed to Sedona's Insomnia Canyon, an advanced technical canyon leading into the West Fork of Oak Creek.

The group planned a day trip through the canyon. They successfully rappelled down several sections and swam through various pools to reach the final, 300-foot rappel.

McEntire's friend Christian Alexander went down first and captured several photographs of McEntire as he descended — a dot high above on the towering cliff.

As McEntire went down, he gained speed as he dropped through mid air, without the friction of his contact with the wall to slow him down. The most experienced climber in the group, McEntire liked to descend quickly and knew how to stop by throwing the rope over the rappel device.

However, McEntire missed when he threw the rope and didn't have enough time to recover. He fell 100 feet before bouncing off a ledge and tumbling another 40 feet, landing in a pool of water.

When McEntire's friends made it to him, they couldn't find a pulse and all feared he had died, Amber said.

Luckily, he came to and had told them to move him out of the water, she said.
Rescuers had to hoist a fallen climber's shattered body up a 400-foot-high cliff face, trying to not bump him against the rocks.

With his body crushed and bleeding, McEntire hovered on the verge of death, but he knew he had to stay awake.

"He has such a high tolerance for pain that probably no one else would have been able to take it," Amber said. "But that is one thing that saved him. With his medical background, he knows in an emergency situation if you don't keep your wits, you die."

Although McEntire carried with him an emergency location device that could send a distress signal, only he knew how to use it.

So one friend ran seven miles up the canyon for a cell signal.

At 9:30 p.m., Amber got a call that McEntire had been hurt, but few other details.

Given his love of extreme sports from kayaking to power paragliding, Amber said she had long braced herself for such a call. Still, she was shocked and agonized.

For hours, McEntire waited for rescue. The first paramedics made it to him by midnight, but they could only sit with him until daylight made a rescue possible.

By morning, rescuers put McEntire into a basket and used a series of ropes to haul him back up the roughly 400-foot wall.

It took two hours to get him up the cliff. From there, a helicopter airlifted McEntire five miles and transferred him to a medical helicopter for the trip to the Valley.

"Search and rescue later said they didn't think he would make it out alive," Amber said.

At the hospital, McEntire's doctors rushed him into surgery.

On Friday, he underwent surgery to put metal plates into his pelvis, which had been shattered and dislocated from his spine.

Through it all, Amber says she still believes canyoneering is a safe sport, as long as you exercise caution.

Over 25 rescuers and medical personnel were involved in this effort from Coconino County Search and Rescue, Sedona Fire District, Flagstaff Fire Department, Guardian Medical Transport, Flagstaff Medical Center, Department of Public Safety helicopters out of Kingman and Phoenix, and Native Air.
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Re: Insomnia Canyon Injury - Mike McEntire

Post by hikeaz » Sep 26 2011 9:22 am

kurt

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Re: Insomnia Canyon Injury - Mike McEntire

Post by joebartels » Sep 26 2011 9:55 am

Kudos to Lars and all the rescuers : app :

Condolences to the Mathews family :(
Hike Arizona it ROCKS!

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