Rochester hiker recovering after fall from cliff in Arizona


A young Rochester woman is reportedly on the mend after a 100-foot fall while hiking in Arizona.

The Mohave County Sheriff reports Amber Kohnhorst, 25, went for a hike along the Rose Cliffs Trail Friday afternoon. Owners of the bed & breakfast where she was staying discovered on Saturday that she had not returned, leading to a search involving a handful of law enforcement agencies.

[googlemaps https://www.google.com/maps/embed?pb=!1m18!1m12!1m3!1d407769.1600524518!2d-113.19195620011011!3d37.01703472271636!2m3!1f0!2f0!3f0!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!3m3!1m2!1s0x80cb241abfb5e729%3A0xa74099ac96aa4fd1!2sFredonia%2C+AZ+86022!5e0!3m2!1sen!2sus!4v1464145613413&w=240&h=240]

The sheriff's office provides this account of the accident: While hiking, Kohnhorst slipped and fell – landing on a narrow ledge of rock about 100 feet down the 800-foot cliff.

The fall knocked her unconscious. She came to during the night and tried to climb back up the cliff. She made it about half way, but the terrain became too difficult for her to go any further.

Kohnhorst periodically blew a whistle and yelled for help but eventually passed out again.

The sound of a search helicopter awakened her on Saturday at about 7 p.m. – more than 24 hours after she fell. With nowhere for the copter to land on the rugged mountaintop, a rope rescue team was airlifted to the top of the cliff and pulled Kohnhorst to safety.

Multiple surgeries

According to a GoFundMe page collecting donations for her medical expenses, Kohnhorst's back was fractured in three places. She also suffered a crushed pelvis, broken nose, and other injuries, the site says.

A spokeswoman for the sheriff's department told the Associated Press Tuesday Kohnhorst "is doing well in spite of her injuries."

KTNV-TV in Las Vegas reports she was able to stand on Tuesday for the first time since her fall.

The GoFundMe page says Kohnhorst works as a nurse at a Mayo Clinic intensive care unit in Rochester. She was in Arizona on a trip volunteering for the Best Friends Animal Society, it says.

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