Hiker rescued by helicopter after being injured along Appalachian Trail

BEDFORD COUNTY, VA –  The Appalachian trail is a scenic beauty to behold, but it can also be a dangerous expedition, especially in the cold winter months.   On Saturday members of the Virginia Technical Rescue Team had to deploy to rescue an injured hiker in the northern area of Bedford County.

The call came in at 10:19 and by 11:30 the rescue team was able to reach the remote area along the James River to the north.

The state rescue team met up with the Glasgow Fire Department, Big Island Rescue Squad, and the Bedford County Department of Fire and Rescue.

“Glasgow and Bedford personnel made initial contact with the injured hiker by hiking approximately 2.5 miles of single-track trail,” the rescue team said in a statement. ” Lynchburg hiked in with rigging gear to assist in extricating the injured hiker who was down a snow and ice-covered portion of the mountainside at least 250 feet.”

By 2 pm,  Lynchburg personnel made contact with the hiker who rescuers said had obvious injuries to his legs and face along with being hypothermic.  Rescue team members used a multi-purpose rigging device to lower the rescuer down to secure the hiker onto the line where they both were hauled up the mountainside.

Virginia State Police was requested for a helicopter out of Chesterfield to assist in extracting the hiker off of the mountain.

“Numerous care packages were airdropped to assist in active warming of the hiker,” rescuers said. ” Bedford County Department of Fire & Rescue SOC cleared a large section of trees for safe helio operations to occur. The injured hiker was ultimately hoisted off the mountain after 8 hours of downtime to an awaiting ambulance for treatment at Lynchburg Centra Hospital.”

The rescue effort was complex due to the remoteness of the location, the elevation, rugged mountain terrain, and other factors, but at the end of the day, it was mission accomplished for all involved.

Photos by Virginia Division 3 Technical Rescue Team.

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