Pictured Rocks incident sends one to UIHC

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Staff report

     A slack lining accident took place on Saturday, Jan. 21, at around 12:15 p.m. at Picture Rocks Park outside of Monticello.

     According to Jon Klein, Jones County Ranger, a young adult male subject from Iowa was crossing a slack line 40-50 feet in length above the ground when he fell about 60-plus feet to the ground.

     “Most typically remain closer to the ground,” Klein said of the height.

     Klein said the subject had a safety harness, or a repel ring, which held in place. Unfortunately, the safety sling, which connects the slack line to the body, snapped, causing the subject to fall.

     Slack lining is not rock climbing, but a form of tightrope walking.

     “It’s the same type of scenario,” said Klein.

     The subject was using a heavy web-type material versus an actual rope.

     As to whether this time of year is decent for slack lining at parks such as Pictured Rocks, Klein said the lack of snow and ice and unusual warmer temperatures played a part in the outdoor activity.

     The male subject was transported by Monticello Ambulance to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City for unknown injuries.

     “He was doing everything right and his equipment just failed,” Klein said of the unfortunate incident. “It’s an outdoor high-risk activity.”

     There was one additional climber on scene at the time. No additional injuries were reported.

     Responding were the Jones County Sheriff’s Office, Monticello Fire and Monticello Ambulance departments.

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