PROVO — An Orem boy was hospitalized after falling hundreds of feet during a hike, Sunday afternoon.
The 11-year-old boy was hiking or climbing with his family on a trail east of Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon when he slipped and fell about 200 feet down a scree field, according to Sgt. Spencer Cannon of the Utah County Sheriff's Office. Scree fields are made up of rock fragments from former rock slides.
It took deputies from the Utah County Sheriff's Office and the Utah County Sheriff's Search and Rescue crew a little more than an hour to get the young man off the mountain. North Fork Fire and Ambulance at Sundance and Provo Fire and Rescue medical teams also responded.
It was difficult for rescuers to reach the boy quickly because they needed to ensure they could reach him safely without injuring themselves or further injuring the young man, Cannon said.
Emergency responders set up an anchoring system to lower the boy an additional 250 feet from the scree field to the Provo Parkway Trail, where he was taken to a medical helicopter. He was flown to Primary Children's Hospital in critical condition.
The young man sustained serious head and back injuries, and a possible broken collarbone. He did not remember the accident, which indicates a head injury, Cannon said. He was conscious and breathing when rescuers reached him, but his condition "deteriorated" as he went down the mountain, Cannon said.
"They're treating it as carefully as they can, but he's in even better hands now than he was when he was being rescued," Cannon said.