The picture above is of Ben Suerig and Craig Thexton (Fire & L.E.) This was during the Cliffs Fire when we were mobilized to support evacuation of LaVerkin Canyon. It was in the general direction that the fire was heading and the Ranger staff knew of several back-country permits that would place people in harms way... we landing in the canyon in order to deliver these two SAR individuals, that they might have a head start in finding and evacuating those in the canyon.
This picture is a beautiful aerial veiw of Angels Landing, one of the most visited places in the Park. Unfortunately this photo (as were some of the others on this blog) was taken when we responded to the Park that we might help in an investigation and body recovery of a woman that fell from the edge of the Angels Landing trail.
You can see several Rangers on the SAR (Search and Rescue) team standing on the trail. It gives a level of perspective to the steep and rugged country that makes up most of the main canyon. Again this photo is of the Angels Landing trail.
It is a small part of this photo... but hopefully it gives you the idea of what we see as we enter the park in search of a fire. The small smoke on the rim of the canyon is about 2 acres in size... for those that don't speak the language of "firefighter", an acre is approximately the size of a football field. We are still a few miles away from the smoke in this picture.
I love this photo... it really shows a great aerial view of Zion National Park. To truely respect and understand the rugged and unforgiving landscape that is Zion, you must see it from a vantage point much like this. It's a wonder why they call Southern Utah... Color Country!
Again, another view of the lanscape which makes up Zion National Park. In this photo you can see the West Rim trail on the left side of the photo. On the right side of the photo you can almost see the canyons that lead to the Subway, which is another very popular trail in the park. It is landscape like this that makes having a helicopter not only a usefull tool, but at times a necessary tool.
I threw in this last photo... to help those whom ask why so many people tragically lose their lives due to falls in the Park. Again in this photo you see the spure ridge that leads up to Angels Landing. The pullout that you can see at the bottom of the picture is Big Bend. You can see the vehicles parked their... they establish a great scale for reference. Each year we seem to have at least one fatality on this climb. It is unfortunate, but it is well signed and people are warned that it is not an easy trail. A single moment of inatentive hiking can lead to a very unforgiving fall.
So there you have it... we provide several services for Zion National Park. Primarily we are a delivery method for those that need to navigate this very rough terrain. Stay tuned for the next update where we will share many pictures of the various fires and projects that we assisted in during the 2009 season.