I, my son, Craig, daughter in law, Tanya, and two other friends decided to go down the Lower Jump (North Fork of King's Canyon near Fresno, CA) on tthe 31 of July 2010. This canyon has to be the one of the best (albeit long and tiring) canyoneering experiences in the U.S.
It is a fantastic adventure with rappelling, sliding, and jumping down multiple waterfalls, along with a lot of swimming in beautiful narrows. We were having the time of our lives, but just before the exit to the canyon after 11 hours (around 9 p.m.) of getting through all the technical parts of the canyon, my daughter-in-law slipped wrong while sliding down three feet along a simple and gently sloped four foot boulder in a boulder maze, struck her shin on a protruding tip of rock, and broke her lower leg. She hit it just exactly wrong. We could not move her among the boulders without causing severe pain, and she ended up requiring a helicopter rescue.
Kings _Canyon _Leroy AndersonWe splinted her leg, pressed the activation button at 10 p.m. on my ACR MicroFix™ 406 MHz emergency beacon, bivied overnight in our wetsuits while our two friends hiked out to try to find help. She was picked up in the early morning around 8 a.m. by helicopter.
Initially the helicopter avoided looking in the bottom of the canyon where we were, but the ACR beacon we used provided exact coordinates for the searchers, which made localization much easier. She was lifted out of the canyon, taken to a rescue staging area near the power plant at the bottom of the canyon, and driven by ambulance to the hospital in Fresno.
We discovered she had broken her left lower fibula, tibia, as well as her ankle. It shocked me that a mere two or three-foot fall could cause such an extreme amount of damage. She ended up having surgery, is involved in physical therapy, and hopefully will recover completely as time goes on.
An interesting anecdote was the fact that rescue personnel on the helicopter told us of a woman with a broken leg they had rescued earlier that same week who had no such beacon with her. She lay helpless near a trail for four days prior to being found by a fellow hiker. Thanks to our ACR PLB we were found much more easily and my daughter in law received prompt lifesaving rescue and treatment.