- Associated Press - Sunday, September 21, 2014

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho (AP) - Search-and-rescue teams extricated a 36-year-old hiker early Saturday after her leg got trapped by a 2-ton granite boulder while she descended from Chimney Rock north of Coeur d’Alene. Chimney Rock is a prominent outcropping in the Payette National Forest.

The Coeur d’Alene Press (https://bit.ly/1DqRD4e) reports the woman was hiking with a man and became stuck Friday afternoon after the large boulder on the side of the mountain shifted under her weight.

“She stepped on it to go over it, and it rolled on her,” said Bob Abbott, spokesman for Priest Lake Search and Rescue.

Bonner County emergency officials received a distress call about 5:30 p.m. Friday. More than 20 rescuers from Priest Lake Search and Rescue and the Bonner County EMS Wilderness Response Team set out on foot after 8 p.m. with rope, medical gear and pry bars.

It took until after midnight to reach the woman because of the extremely steep, rocky terrain.

“This was the most technically difficult rescue we’ve done,” said Mike Nielsen, commander of Priest Lake Search and Rescue. “Rescuers had to cross a crumbling rock ledge that was only 10 inches in some places with packs on, in the dark, with only headlamps. That’s why it took so long to access her.”

They chose the technical route to save time because it was four miles shorter than other routes.

It took rescuers about 40 minutes to free the woman’s leg using pry bars, mechanical advantage and muscle, Abbott said.

Her injuries were then stabilized, but rescuers couldn’t bring her out in the dark so they spent the night. The woman was picked up at 8:45 a.m. Saturday by a helicopter from the Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane and was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.

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Information from: Coeur d’Alene Press, https://www.cdapress.com


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