The 35-year-old Swiss hiker from Zurich had been hiking alone in the semi-desert of Coconino County, which contains the Grand Canyon and other nature reserves.
He had intended just to go down the first of a series of dry waterfalls. But in the process he sustained rope burns to his hands and damaged his ankle, online news website KPHO.com reported.
Realizing he would be unable to climb back up to his car, he decided to try to head downwards to the Colorado River. As he made his way further, he encountered a 400-foot drop and knew that he was stuck. With no mobile phone reception, he had no choice but to wait until he was found.
Meanwhile, the hiker’s wife in Switzerland filed a missing person report. Shortly after, the hiker’s abandoned car was found, enabling rescue teams to focus their efforts on the surrounding areas.
Officers then scoured the vicinity, checking popular spots, and shouting out for the missing man. They eventually made vocal contact with him, and notified the sheriff and the local rescue team, including the local air rescue.
Three rescuers climbed down into the canyon, where they assessed the man’s injuries and provided him with sustenance and clear warm clothing.
They then removed him from the canyon and took him to Flagstaff Hospital to be checked over.