The First Sleeping Bear Dune Cliff Rescue of the Season Was This Weekend
Spring must be here because people are getting 'cliffed out' in Sleeping Bear.
The First Dune Rescue Of 2022 Involved Two People
According to UpNorthLive, the first dune rescue of the 2022 season happened Saturday as temperatures soared up into the 80s for the first time.
The unnamed hikers were pulled off a dune face by Glen Lake firefighters who were called to the scene at about 4:45 pm Saturday, a day authorities said was the busiest of the young season on the dunes.
The rescue happened after the couple became unable to continue back up the steep dune cliff after hiking to the bottom.
Warning signs are posted to hikers that the steep face is more challenging than you think and it's best practice not to second guess your fitness level if you're not sure. Rescue crews near the dunes refer to this as being 'cliffed out'.
Rescuers Had To Rappel Down 200 Feet To Get To The Hikers
The hikers were between the popular Empire Bluff trail, and the lesser-known Treat Farm trail, which features an access trail to Old Baldy, a dune peak with a stunning 360-degree view of Lake Michigan and surrounding lands.
The pair went down to the Lake and then had trouble heading back up to the trailhead, prompting the emergency call.
National Park Rangers were first to respond but called for help after it was clear the hikers could not make it back to the top on their own.
Firefighters and rangers then set up a rappel station and rappelled 200 feet down with ropes to reach the people in distress.