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Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Park rangers recovered the body of a man Tuesday in an area below the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park near the Toroweap Valley.
According to a statement issued by the Park Service, the man's wife called the Grand Canyon Regional Communications Center Monday around 10:30 p.m. to report her husband overdue. The man's name had not been released late Tuesday pending notification of family members.
The man had started a day-hike Monday around 9 a.m. on a trail known as the Lava Falls Route. He had planned on hiking to the Colorado River and back, a round trip of approximately three miles. When he failed to return by dusk, his wife drove from the Toroweap Valley to Fredonia, a three-hour drive, to report him overdue.
Two rangers responded to the trailhead Monday night to set up a containment area and to stage for an early-morning search Tuesday. An aerial search of the Lava Falls Route began Tuesday morning at approximately 8:50 a.m.; the man's body was located on the lower end of the route, just off trail, at approximately 9:20 a.m. Due to the steep and remote terrain, rangers were required to hike to the scene from a landing zone approximately one hour away.
The man's body was to be flown to Tuweep near the Toroweap Valley, then to Kingman and the Mohave County Medical Examiner's Office.
Although the Lava Falls Route is one of the shortest routes from the rim to the river, it is a hot, steep and difficult route, with loose talus slopes made up of volcanic rock with an elevation change from rim to river of more than 2,500 feet. The trailhead is about 3 miles south of the Tuweep Campground, in a remote area of the Grand Canyon. Tuweep is a five-hour drive from the North Rim developed area.