No. of Recommendations: 4
Is 9 hours unusual for a mountain rescue where climbers have to hike up the mountain to get to you?

I couldn't find any details other than the time when she called the Sheriff, and then when she called the helicopter and it arrived. Depending on the situation, I think rescue efforts can take anywhere from hours to days. How close was she to the nearest road? How urgent was her need for medical care? Did she have enough food and water to keep her healthy over night? How cold was it getting at night? Was there any danger of severe weather? of predators? etc.

If they had to hike for several hours in the dark to get to her, they would have probably moved cautiously. One of the worst things a rescue crew can do is endanger rescue workers trying to save an injured hiker. They don't want to make the problem worse. Then, once they got there they might have had to spend some time clearing brush and an expedient path from where the hiker had fallen to the actual hiking trail. In some cases, they have to build some sort of pulley and rope structure to lift the stretcher to where they need it. Even after they get the hiker and stretcher back to the hiking trail, going can be very slow. A lot of hiking trails are not wide enough to accommodate four people carrying a stretcher between them, so they have to pass the stretcher through narrow places and leap frog each other to receive the stretcher at the other side.

About 12 or 13 years ago I was doing archaeology survey in Coconino National Forest when one of our survey crew fell about 15 feet off a cliff we were climbing. He damaged a vertebrae and was unable to move. We were down in a canyon that was about 200 or 300 feet deep. We eventually were able to make radio contact with emergency crews. It was urgent enough that they sent a helicopter but the closest it was able to land was still at the top of the canyon and across a fairly rugged rocky area. The rescue crew put us all to work clearing a path between the injured crew member and the helicopter, clearing brush, running ropes and ladders. It was no simple task to get ~200 lbs of injured crew member and stretcher up and out of the canyon and not do any damage to his spine. Ten very strong, very healthy rescue crew members worked their butts off for about 4 or 5 hours. Oh . . . it was also over 100 degrees that day.

When I got back to camp that night, I was exhausted and just collapsed. I don't ever remember being that weary. I have never had to participate in a remote rescue operation since then, but I still remember those rescue workers and how hard and how efficiently they worked.

Oh, our crew member eventually recuperated. He did have to spend about 9 months in bed. He ended up marrying his nurse who took care of him during his recuperation.
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