Tuesday, February 19th 2019, 3:53 pm - A 34-year-old man is recovering after enduring nearly 10 hours of extreme winter weather conditions while stuck in quicksand in a national park over the weekend, the U.S. National Park Service (NPS) reports.
The Arizona man was hiking at Zion National Park when he got his leg stuck in quicksand, accordin to NPS. His companion, who was not stuck, left him with warm clothing and provisions and went to call for help. It took her approximately three hours to find cell service and alert authorities.
By the time help arrived, the female companion was suffering from hypothermia and required assistance as well. The man, who was located about a three-hour hike inside the park, was in stable condition but suffering from hypothermia as well.
It took several hours to for rangers to free the man.
By then, night had set in, forcing the rangers and the man to spend the night at the site, amid moderate snowfall. According to NPS, about 10 cm of additional snow fell during that time.
The group was airlifted out of the area and to a hospital Sunday morning, after several failed helicopter rescue attempts due to reduced visibility from winter storms.
He is said to be recovering.
"Winter conditions at Zion National Park can be extreme, especially in the higher elevations," The NPS says in a statement.
"Colder temperatures, shorter days, snow, ice, and cold run-off can make easy hikes difficult and strenuous ones treacherous. Visitors are advised to use extreme caution during poor weather events at Zion."