On July 25, we received a call about a puppy named Layla who had gone over a cliff edge by Dirty Harry’s Balcony. Layla was stranded on a small ledge about 15 feet down. Her owner stated that she did not appear to be injured but there was no safe way to rescue her, as just beyond the ledge was a vertical drop of several hundred feet. The technical rescue team and gear truck were deployed.
Upon arrival at the trailhead parking lot, we were greeted by friends of Layla’s owner who kindly offered to help carry gear up the trail. After handing out extra water for hydration on this hot summer morning, we headed up the trail, hiking close to 2 miles and 1200 feet elevation, in 3 separate groups.
Upon reaching Layla’s owner, the situation was assessed and a rescue method was planned. Layla indeed appeared to be uninjured on her small ledge and was free to pace back and forth a short distance.
The situation required technical rigging to lower an attendant to secure Layla and raise them both back to the top of the cliff safely. A twin tension rope system was set up. We lowered an attendant over the top of the cliff and down to Layla’s small ledge. After Layla was secured, the rope system was changed from a lowering system to a pulley system to haul them both back up to the top of the cliff.
Once at the top, Layla was leashed and reunited with her owner with a happily wagging tail. Layla was readily drinking water, eating treats, and soaking up all the pets and praises from everyone on scene. She was able to hike back down the trail with her owner and friends and posed for a few quick photos at our base gear truck. The team then debriefed, packed up, and headed home.
We are so glad to have been able to reunite this adorable puppy with her owner who made the right call and asked for assistance. We are also thankful for the help of the owner’s friends on that hot summer day