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Rescuers save fallen climber in Grand Canyon National Park

(AP Photo/Rick Hossman)

PHOENIX — Authorities say a rock climber is lucky to be alive after he lost his footing in Grand Canyon National Park, fell and spent the night with broken bones before his wife rappelled 200 feet down the cliff and helped rescue him.

Jacob Tipton of Flagstaff was hiking through rough terrain Monday while looking for new climbing routes when he fell.

Coconino County Deputy Sheriff Trevor Wallace said the site has steep cliffs and jagged rocks.

Tipton was alone at the time of the fall and his wife was back at their vehicle. She went out looking for him after he didn’t return and found him the next morning.

She rappelled down to where he was and then went back up to call for help, sheriff’s spokesman Jon Paxton said.

The fall occurred near Twentynine Mile Canyon on the northeastern edge of Grand Canyon National Park.

“Any fall or potential fall in that area with the proximity of the canyon and the cliffs could potentially be very dangerous so I’m just glad he’s OK,” Wallace said.

Tipton was taken by helicopter to Flagstaff Medical Center, where he was treated for fractures in his arms and legs.

It was one of multiple search and rescue operations over the past few days.

Another rescue crew saved a 15-year-old girl who was riding her bike Wednesday when she crashed over the edge of the Mogollon Rim and fell about 25 feet before landing on a ledge. She was treated and sent to Payson Hospital for a laceration to her head and other possible injuries.

Officials got the call as they were rescuing a lost woman hiking alone outside Sedona.

Later that day, they helped a man who collapsed multiple times while he was hiking with his wife at Veit Springs near Arizona Snowbowl.

Paxton said officials generally see more people experiencing exhaustion and cramps during this point in the year.

“Just due to the heat around this time of year and up here, the heat and the elevation really get you,” Paxton said.

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