Mountain biker rescued from cliff in ‘treacherous area’ after crash in Nevada County

Local News

NEVADA COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — A mountain biker was rescued from a cliff face off Butcher Ranch Trail after several failed attempts early Tuesday, the Nevada County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue reported.

The biker was stuck on a vertical cliff face above Pauly Creek. 

Monday around 9 p.m., the Sierra County Sheriff’s Office requested a technical rope rescue where the biker had crashed “in one of the more treacherous areas.” 

A rescue effort by a California Highway Patrol helicopter failed due to the steep canyon and tall forest canopy, search and rescue said. 

Fifteen members of Nevada County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue set off on a 4-mile hike to the location from Packer Saddle.

Crews made voice contact with the biker around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, but the noise from a nearby waterfall interfered with communication. 

A rescue climber was lowered over the cliff’s edge to locate the biker because his exact location was hard to determine due to the terrain, search and rescue said. On the second attempt, the rescuer reached the biker and was able to evaluate him. 

Crews said he was found on a small ledge overlooking a 30-foot vertical face to the creek below, with a 30-foot vertical face above him.

The biker and rescuer were harnessed together and lifted up the cliff, search and rescue said. The rescuers and the biker then regrouped and hiked almost four miles out the bottom of the Third Divide Trail. 

The biker only suffered minor injuries and “was in good shape, aside from being extremely cold,” search and rescue reported.

Rescue crews believe the biker would’ve died from the elements had his crash not been witnessed by someone.

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