Team rescues hiker from Mt. Tipton area

KINGMAN -The Mohave County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue technical rope rescue team and a Department of Public Safety Ranger helicopter crew were called out at 4:30 p.m. Monday to rescue a backpacker who had fallen, injuring his head and hand.

The rescue took place on the rugged western slopes of Mt. Tipton within the Mt. Tipton Wilderness Area at an elevation of about 6,000 feet.

Sean Taylor, 39, of Las Vegas, had camped Sunday night on Mt. Tipton and was attempting to descend a steep canyon toward the trailhead when he fell and was injured. He could not continue and called for help.

Search and Rescue members arrived and helped DPS configure the helicopter for a short-haul extraction by a rope hanging below the helicopter.

The plan was to rappel a technical rope technician to Taylor, prepare him to connect to the rope and do a short-haul extraction. Unfortunately, the sun was going down and there was insufficient light to complete the maneuver.

A Search and Rescue rope technician rappelled from the helicopter to Taylor and decided to attempt hiking and climbing down the steep canyon wall to the bottom of a wash and find a spot where the helicopter could do a one-skid technique to load Taylor.

The canyon where Taylor was injured was too narrow and had too many trees to safely attempt a helicopter landing.

After about four hours of descending the wash, Taylor and the rescuer reached a part of the canyon where there was sufficient room for the helicopter to hover above a large rock. Taylor and the rescuer performed a hover-ingress and entered the helicopter while it was still in the air. Taylor was flown to Kingman Regional Medical Center for treatment.

Editor's note: Vega is a captain with the Mohave County Sheriff's office volunteer Search and Rescue unit.