Boy Scouts Rescued From Grand Canyon

The American Indians began yelling to them again, but they couldn't be heard over the roar of water, "just mud, trees and rocks coming down."

"The scariest part was when you couldn't hear them and didn't know what they wanted you to do," Muench said.

Muench climbed out of his tree to find out what the newest warning was. "Come now," they were saying. The American Indians apparently noticed a slowing of the river.

Muench got everyone out of the trees and they had to wade across the shallowest part of the water, which was as high as three feet deep in parts. The college students put some of the smaller Scouts on their shoulders, and the only camping gear they took was two backpacks that had first aid equipment.

"All the Scouts lost everything," he said.

Helicopter Lift Was 'So Cool'

Once clear of the water, however, they faced a nearly sheer cliff and the water was still rising. They found a notch in the cliff and their American Indian rescuers rigged ropes up to the top. They had to pull themselves up about 70 feet, Muench estimated, pulling with their arms and kicking with their feet.

A Black Hawk helicopter dropped them a case of water and later came back to hoist six of them in a cargo net. But before the chopper could return for the rest of them, it was diverted to rescue others who were in a more dire situation, Muench said.

Muench said the boys did not appear to be traumatized by their ordeal. Colin even called his mother to describe the helicopter lift as "so cool." The boys were playing in the hotel pool Monday night, Muench said.

But he said his Scouts were prepared for the crisis and knew that you have to be ready for anything in a place like the Grand Canyon.

"This is one of risks when you go into the wilderness. They know we're not in the suburbs camping in Memorial Park," he said referring to mowed field in the middle of Maplewood.

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