Wolfe County Search and Rescue team helps injured hiker in the Gorge

Published: Nov. 11, 2018 at 9:50 PM EST
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A Red River Gorge hiker is okay, after a Wolfe County Search and Rescue team helped the injured woman off a challenging trail on Saturday.

"Her friends and herself didn't have cell phone signal. There was another group that ended up hiking by them and they had to continue on the trail until they got cell phone signal and were able to call 911," said Deputy Chief Mike Hackett, with the Wolfe County Search and Rescue department.

A small day hike turned into a long and dark rescue for that hiker when she hurt her knee around 2:30 p.m.

It didn't take crews long to find her, but a Wolfe County Search and Rescue team spent hours hauling the woman, described in her 20s, up the challenging Douglas Trail Saturday night.

"Couple hundred foot cliff, but they made it only about halfway down the trail. It's a pretty rugged trail. Rough, not only in terrain but also in the fact that it has been raining and it's muddy," said Hackett.

Hackett says the woman was with three other hikers when she hurt her knee near a shallow creek, on their way to the Eagles Buttress lookout. It took a team of ten, four hours to carry her out in part because they stopped along the way to warm her up as she showed signs of mild hypothermia.

"It was cold last night, and it was down a really rough trail that took quite a bit of experience and ropes and teamwork to get her out," said Hackett.

During the rescue, the Wolfe County team got another call for an injured climber at Muir Valley. That climber, however, was able to make it back to the trailhead. Hackett says it's a busy time of year, which means more calls like these.

"The season tends to pick up in the Spring and in the Fall. Obviously, when that weather turns a little cooler and less rain from the summer, it dries out a little more and we get a higher percentage of tourists, as well as hikers that see the leaves," said Hackett.

He says even experienced and day-hikers need to remember to bring warm clothes and a way to shelter in place for emergencies that stretch into the night.

He recommends bringing extra clothes, a windbreaker, a set of undergarments made of fabrics like synthetics and wool that won't absorb water, a means to boil water, a filter, and equipment to shelter in place.