A 25-year-old nurse from Minnesota took a nasty fall down a 100-foot ledge in Arizona near the Utah border recently that has her thankful to be alive.
Amber Kohnhorst, who is described in media reports as an experienced hiker, is recovering in a Utah hospital from serious injuries. The fall took place on Arizona’s Rose Cliff’s Trail near St. George, Utah. How she found herself sliding down this ledge is still anyone’s guess, however.
Kohnhorst was on her way to Utah where she planned to volunteer at the Best Friends Animal Society. On her way, she stopped at an Arizona B&B and decided to take a short sunset hike.
It was high on a cliff trail that she had trouble finding her footing and called 911 for help, but couldn’t get through because the area was out of cellphone range. Despite feeling panicked, she attempted to ease her way down.
That’s when she lost her balance, falling more than 100 feet and blacking out. When Amber regained consciousness she was on her back with no idea of where she was, unable to lay flat because of the pain.
Even though she had no cellphone service, she had brought a whistle, which she kept blowing hoping that someone would hear. That hope was dimming after a full 24 hours passed with no sign of rescue.
Unable to move, she began writing “goodbye” letters to her parents on her phone. “I’m sorry. I’m trying to blow my whistle. I’ve fallen. That was going to be my goodbye,” Kohnhorst said.
Owners of the Cane Beds Inn, where Kohnhorst was staying, noticed that she hadn’t returned from her hike by Saturday morning and called authorities.
Amber was stranded for nearly 25 hours when she was found and evacuated. When she spotted the rescue helicopter she began screaming and blowing the whistle non-stop. She says that she knew it was her only chance.
“If they found me, I lived,” she told a local Fox News reporter.
A Department of Public Safety helicopter team heard her screaming for help. It took rescue crews seven hours to reach her and lift her off of the cliff.
Amber feels incredibly fortunate to have survived. She fractured her back in three places, crushed her pelvis, broke her nose, and doctors had to reattach her ear which was torn off in the fall.
“This week has been hard, but at least I’m alive,” she said.
To help with medical expenses she has set up a GoFundMe page.