Hiker survives 100-foot fall

Woman was trapped on cliff over 24 hours before rescue

A helicopter pilot hovers his aircraft above an 800-foot cliff during the rescue of an injured hiker Saturday. (Courtesy)

A helicopter pilot hovers his aircraft above an 800-foot cliff during the rescue of an injured hiker Saturday. (Courtesy)

CANE BEDS - A Minnesota hiker was rescued Saturday after surviving a 100-foot fall from an Arizona Strip cliff and spending the night and most of the next day stranded with serious injuries.

Amber Kohnhorst, 25, of Rochester, was staying at a bed and breakfast in Cane Beds Friday. The owners told her where hiking trails were and she departed for the Rose Cliffs Trail at about 4:30 p.m.

The next morning the owners realized Kohnhorst had not returned from her hike. Her rental car was still there and her bed had not been slept in. Friends of the owners searched the area without luck and the Mohave County Sheriff's office was called. Deputies and members of Search and Rescue responded, as did a group of searchers from the Colorado City Fire Department and a Department of Public Safety helicopter crew.

Amber was located at 7 p.m. on a ledge about 50 feet down from an 800-foot cliff north of Cane Beds and Rose Cliff roads. She was hiking near the cliff when she slipped and fell about 100 feet onto the narrow ledge. She suffered head and back injuries and was knocked unconscious.

Kohnhorst awoke sometime during the night and crawled about 50 feet before the terrain became too difficult, according to sheriff's spokeswoman Trish Carter.

"She began blowing her whistle and screaming for help every half hour," said Carter. "She eventually fell back to sleep and didn't wake up until she heard the DPS helicopter flying over her when she screamed for help."

Either Kohnhorst has an impressive set of lungs or somebody on the helicopter has exceptional hearing because he heard her.

A rope rescue team was put together and was airlifted to the top of the cliff. A rope system was set up and a rescuer rappelled down to Kohnhorst. The paramedic determined she sustained a "severe head injury," said Carter.

She was hoisted to the top of the cliff and loaded while the helicopter, unable to land, hovered.

She was taken to Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George, Utah.