Saturday, August 9, 2014

Michigan Man Rescued from Alum Cave Trail in Smoky Mountains

Alum Cave
Alum Cave(photo courtesy of NPS)

based on an article in the Smoky Mountain News

Bill Runyon, of Michigan, is recovering from an ordeal experienced July 27, in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Runyon was hiking the Alum Cave Trail with relatives, when he fell fifteen feet. Sustaining back and neck injuries, he was unable to make the return hike.

Bill Runyon, age 64, was hiking the Alum Cave Trail with family members when he fell more than 15 feet below the trail, sustaining back and neck injuries, rendering him unable to hike back to the trailhead. The Alum Cave Trail is described as being 2.5 miles each way, but Runyon was reported to be 4 miles from his vehicle.

Rangers arrived by late afternoon, a team of eleven rescuers. However, severe thunderstorms forced them to set up a temporary shelter for the night. Runyon was stable, and they kept him dry and warm. Two medics and two rangers stayed the night with the injured man, and he was transported out in the morning. Nearly 4 inches of rain fell that night, with wind and lightning. The final extraction included river crossings and the staircase through Arch Rock. Completing the rescue in the dark and a storm would have increased the hazard.

The article did not state Runyon's Michigan city of residence.

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Read the entire article Smokies rangers rescue fallen hiker in storm conditions
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