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Utah Man Survives 150-Foot Fall In Big Cottonwood Canyon

MURRAY, Utah – A Plain City man took his first steps in the hospital after he survived a 150-foot fall down a steep ridgeline above Lake Blanche in Big Cottonwood Canyon.

“Even being outside right now, it feels really good,” Jackie Achter said. “It’s my medicine I call it.”

Jackie and Jeremy Achter grew up outside and built their lives around their passion.

It’s who I’ve been my whole life, what he’s been his whole life, back in the day what drew us together,” Jackie Achter said. “Hiking, trail running, ultrarunning, rock climbing — all of it. We just prefer to be outside.”

Their Saturday started off promising, as they embarked on a hike along the ridge line east of Dromedary Peak, known by experienced hikers as the “WURL,” in Big Cottonwood Canyon.

“He’s an engineer, he’s extremely cautious and He doesn’t do things if he’s not comfortable, so he said, ‘Yup I’ve got this route,’” Achter said.

That’s when the unexpected happened, and Jeremy Acter fell an estimated 150 feet.

Rescue # 54: Injured Hiker on the Cottonwood RidgeCallout Time: 10:40 AM 10/17/2020Duration: 5 HoursSLCOSAR…

Posted by Salt Lake County Sheriff's Search and Rescue on Sunday, October 18, 2020

His wife was nearby waiting with supplies and snacks.

“When I heard the helicopter, I had this … I almost threw up,” Achter said. “I knew something had happened. They’re estimating he fell about 150 feet, possibly hit one ledge or two ledges.”

It was unclear how Jeremy Acter slipped.

“He can’t remember,” Jackie Achter said. “My guess is a small piece of snow, black ice … it could be anything when you’re up there.”

Jeremy Achter was airlifted with 12 broken ribs, a laceration to his spleen and two collapsed lungs — yet he somehow survived.

“I keep saying he had an angel bubble … like a bubble around him,” Jackie Achter said. “I don’t know.”

Jeremy Achter took his first steps since the accident on Thursday. He underwent surgery Wednesday to have plates placed on his ribs.

“It’s amazing,” his wife said. “The majority of the impact was on his back and midsection.”

Jackie Achter said doctors expect her husband to fully recover — something they’re not taking for granted.

Jeremy Achter was hospitalized after a 150-foot fall in Big Cottonwood Canyon. (Jackie Achter)

Jeremy Achter hasn’t been able to recall the incident and what caused the fall, but his memory is slowly coming back. The family also wanted to thank the efforts of the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team.

They have also established a GoFundMe page* for Achter’s medical bills.


*KSL TV does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisers and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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