Hiker pinned for hours under 6,000-pound-plus boulder, California rescuers say

A boulder pinned a hiker for seven hours on a steep Inyo County hillside, California rescuers reported.

The rock, estimated to weigh from 6,000 to 10,000 pounds, trapped the hiker’s left leg, leaving him in “great pain,” on Tuesday, Dec. 5, the Inyo County Search & Rescue team said in a Dec. 8 news release.

A California Highway Patrol helicopter dropped two rescuers nearby while others followed in vehicles on off-road vehicle trails, rescuers said.

Rescuers arrived after dark and used a “system of ropes, pulleys, and leverage” to move the boulder enough to extricate the injured hiker’s leg, the release said.

Because of his injuries and the rugged terrain, the hiker was airlifted to a hospital by a helicopter, rescuers said.

Finding no place to land, a U.S. Navy helicopter lowered a medic, who was then hoisted back to the helicopter with the injured hiker, rescuers said.

Inyo County lies on the California-Nevada border and includes much of Death Valley National Park.

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