SALT LAKE CITY — A 26-year-old hiker from Nephi who broke his leg in an Emery County slot canyon Tuesday was rescued after his father called authorities.
Crews found Brigham Holladay, 26, of Nephi, roughly 2 miles from the trailhead of the Ding and Dang Slot Canyons near Green River in the early hours of Wednesday, and hoisted him from the canyon using a helicopter and cable. An ambulance took him to Castleview Hospital in Price.
"It was a relief!" he said of the moment when the search teams found him.
Holladay said he attempted to jump down into a drop on the canyon floor about 7:30 pm. Tuesday. The distance was farther than he anticipated, and he broke his calf bone, or fibula.
Holladay didn't feel much pain because his leg had gone numb, he said. He managed to remove his wet shoes and socks, but was very cold as he waited for help to arrive.
He said he had made sure to tell others where he was going and believed crews would arrive, but he wasn't sure when.
"It was more a matter of time, and I was just hoping I didn't have any other problems arise while waiting," he said.
About midnight Tuesday, his father called the sheriff's office, saying his son had gone hiking to Ding and Dang Slot Canyons about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, the Emery County Sheriff's Office said in a prepared statement.
Teams from the sheriff's office, Goblin Valley State Park, Emery County Search and Rescue, Green River Ambulance and a Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter searched for him, with several wading through icy chest-deep water.
"Another successful rescue in Emery County thanks to these highly skilled, selfless responders and multiple agencies working together," Emery County Sheriff Greg Funk said in a statement, saying the effort took nine hours in its entirety.
Holladay said he is grateful to the rescue crews and impressed by them.
On future hikes, he said, "I might be a little more cautious, but who knows?"