LITTLE COTTONWOOD CANYON, Utah (ABC4) — A hiker intending to BASE jump from Little Cottonwood Canyon into Bells Canyon was rescued by a helicopter 6.5 hours after getting ‘cliffed out’ on dangerous terrain on June 8, according to Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue.

A hiker left at 5 a.m. to BASE jump into Bells Canyon from the ridge separating it from Little Cottonwood Canyon. After he tried and couldn’t climb to the ridge safely, he descended and “ultimately felt unsafe to move any further,” authorities said.

The term cliffed out refers to a hiker who finds themselves in a position where they can neither move up nor down safely.

Four rescuers attempted to climb the gulley known as Black Pearl on the Wasatch Backcountry Ski map to reach the hiker and three team members climbed the Green A Gulley.

The terrain was extremely hazardous as it was the site of a large natural rockfall event in 2021 that left “loose rock and lots of boulders that easily shifted when weighted,” SAR authorities said.

A BASE jumper was rescued in Little Cottonwood Canyon 6.5 hours after getting cliffed out. The terrain was extremely hazardous due to a rockfall event from 2021. (Courtesy of Salt Lake City Search and Rescue.)

After arriving at Perla’s Ridge, two rescuers continued upwards in their attempt to rescue the hiker but ultimately returned due to unsafe conditions. A Department of Public Safety helicopter was then summoned and the hiker and rescuers were flown off the mountain.

The hiker did not bring any extra clothes and had no headlamp, prompting authorities to raise safety awareness saying this is “a unique situation” but recreators need to consider what might happen if they do not reach their objective.

“What is your backup plan to get back to a trailhead if you can’t go the way you intended? What if you run out of daylight?” authorities said.