YOSEMITE N.P. (CBS13) – CHP officers offered a rare glimpse inside an aerial rescue operation on Saturday.
One of the officers’ helmet cameras was rolling when officers in a helicopter hoisted up a stranded hiker from a ledge hundreds of feet high in Yosemite National Park this morning.
At around 2:30 p.m. Friday, three people set out on a day hike on Yosemite Falls Trail. Several hours later they reached the falls, and realizing they were quickly running out of sunlight, two of the hikers decided to attempt a shortcut by and climbed down a ledge 10-12 feet tall. The other hiker continued down the trail, according to a statement from CHP.
During their descent down the cliff, one hiker broke their glasses and couldn’t continue. The other hiker continued on and got stranded at the top of a 320-foot cliff. The hiker who remained on the trail reached the valley at 7:30 p.m. and contacted rangers for help.
Yosemite Search and Rescue rescued the person at the ledge late Friday night, but were unable to reach the third stranded hiker who says he made a fire to keep warm.
On Saturday morning, a CHP helicopter flew to where the hiker was stranded and Park Ranger Jack Hoeflich was lowered to the man and prepared him for the rescue. The hiker was hoisted up to the helicopter and flown back to Ahwahnee Meadow.
Fortunately he did not sustain any injuries and was very relieved to be off the mountain, the CHP reports.
Authorities urge park visitors to stay on designated trails and obey all signs for their safety. Otherwise, they may find themselves in a similar predicament.