Women get stuck hiking Tahoe’s Shirley Canyon Trail. Here’s what it took to rescue them

·1 min read
Tahoe Nordic Search & Rescue Team Inc.

Two women were rescued by Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue after they got lost hiking the Shirley Canyon Trail, according to the search team.

The women called 911 after they ended up “cliffed out,” meaning they couldn’t climb up or down, on Palisades Tahoe’s giant granite cliff known as Tram Face, a Facebook post by the search team said.

Before getting stuck, the women climbed down a 5.3 rock face, which the Yosemite Decimal System rates as having two-hand and two-foot holds for every move that are not obvious to a novice climber. They were above about 800 feet of cliffs when they made the call, according to the search team.

Tahoe Nordic arrived right before dark to rescue the women, and according to the Facebook post, one rescue member was able to scale the rocks unassisted from below to reach them. The women were holding onto a tree when the rescuer got to them, and they were moved to a safer position.

A group of technical rescuers were able to climb above the women and find anchors to create a belay system, the rescue team said, which uses rope to protect climbers from a fall.

After the women were located, moved and the belay system was created, it took 3 1/2 more hours to haul up both women and rescuers to a position where ropes were no longer needed, the post said.

The women and the rescuers hiked up to the Old Tram Road Trail then out of the Palisades to rescue vehicles. The search team said everyone was at the bottom of the cliff by 2:30 a.m.

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