Hiker Rescued After 7-Hour Boulder Ordeal

Man was pinned in California's Inyo County
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 11, 2023 1:00 AM CST
Updated Dec 11, 2023 6:30 AM CST
California Hiker Trapped Under Boulder for 7 Hours
Stock photo.   (Getty Images / DetWe)

A hiker was rescued last week after he got pinned under a boulder in California's Inyo Mountains. The Inyo County Search & Rescue team, Inyo County Sheriff's Office, and California Highway Patrol were involved in the rescue below Santa Rita Flat, near the community of Independence, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Authorities did not say how the man became trapped Tuesday afternoon, but his legs were pinned underneath the boulder, which weighs almost 10,000 pounds, for seven hours, CBS News reports. He was in "great pain" when the rescue team arrived, some via helicopter and some via car, Tuesday night, the team says in a statement.

With the help of ropes, pulleys, and leverage, rescuers managed to move the boulder enough that the man could be freed. He was flown to a hospital after midnight, and his current condition has not been released. "Challenges encountered on this mission included coordination of multiple agencies and resources; accessing an accident scene in steep, loose rocky terrain; using limited resources to move a large boulder; managing a severely injured patient for several hours while awaiting the helicopter extrication; assisting in a nighttime helicopter hoist; all in chilly December darkness," the search and rescue team says. The Inyo Mountains are east of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. (More California stories.)

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