Emergency Crews Complete Lengthy Night Rescue In Blue Ridge

Photo by Wintergreen Fire & Rescue : Area emergency crews work to get an injured hiker to safety - Sunday night - November 18, 2018
Photo by Wintergreen Fire & Rescue : Area emergency crews work to get an injured hiker to safety – Sunday night – November 18, 2018

Three Ridges Wildlife Area
Nelson County, Virginia

Release via Wintergreen Fire & Rescue:

Last night Wintergreen Fire & Rescue was again requested to assist an injured hiker on the Mau-Har spur off of the Appalachian Trail. The call originated at 8:56PM as a “911 Hang-up” in the Three Ridges Wilderness area. Immediately a request for County-Wide assistance went out. Many localities would struggle to get a heavy turnout on a cold Sunday night for a call which would certainly consume most of the night. Not Nelson County. Montebello Fire, Rockfish Fire, Roseland Rescue, Gladstone Fire & EMS, and Piney River Fire all came to assist. Well over 20 people were involved. Crews reached the patient at approximately midnight. She had a leg injury which would require her to be carried out, and was being well taken care of by a group of through-hikers.

After last weekend’s 8-hour hike in precisely the same location, Wintergreen Fire & Rescue staff were determined to find a better way. Staff returned to the scene to scout it out. Indeed, there was a shortcut across private land, however a treacherous stream crossing was involved. A “high-line” was set up to pass the basket over the creek. This allowed the removal team to “rock-hop” over the stream. In the end, approximately 2-3 hours were trimmed off the exercise.

Crews cleared at approximately 3AM. There were no rescuer injuries.

Medic 8-1
Medic 176
Squad 1
Response 173 & 174
Rockfish 54
Gladstone 46
Montebello 78
Salvage 23 w ATV
C1 & C3


  1. I was one if the thru hikers. The injured lady was very lucky to be found before morning . We were camping at the falls on the Mar-har trail. Some nite hikers were walking up and stopped at our campsite. When they continued hiking up the encountered the injured hiker and her friend a half mile up the trail- the most treacherous part if the trail. They came down back our campsite and explained the situation . We carried supplies up to splint her leg, she had a closed tib fib fracture . We carried her down to the campsite, fed watered warmed and secured both her and her friend. They had one head lite and insufficient clothing. There was no cell service, so the night hikers had to climb out past Maupin Shelter to get service and call rescue. At the camp site we had no idea when rescue would come. We secured then for the night.
    Rescue was awesome and came just before midnight .
    The message is: Please don’t hike more then 2 miles in the Appalacian trail without the ability to stat overnight if you get lost or injured . This ended well because two guys happen to be hiking at night up the Mar-Har trail , and an orthopedic surgeon and his boys were camping less than a half mile below.
    Thanks for the story thought you might be interested in the rest of the details.
    Sam Kline


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