The initial reports from the Alaska State Troopers had an incorrect spelling of LaGrou's last name. The story has been updated to reflect the correct spelling.
FAIRBANKS—Alaska State Troopers rescued a Washington state woman from a cliff edge outside Denali National Park on Sunday evening.
The woman, 18-year-old Cherelle LaGrou, was hiking on a ridge top along Fox Creek near mile 241 of the George Parks Highway when she lost her footing and slid down the side of the mountain, according to information released by troopers.
LaGrou was hiking alone on a trail that travels near the side of the highway. She is living and working in the area as a seasonal employee.
LaGrou reportedly slid about 30 feet but was able to stop her descent just before falling off the edge of a 60-foot cliff. Once standing at the cliff edge, she was unable to get down or climb back up, so she dialed for help on her cellphone.
LaGrou did not call troopers, however. She dialed a family member in Washington, who called LaGrou's employer. The employer then called troopers, according to trooper spokeswoman Beth Ipsen.
Troopers Gordon Young and Erik Hill arrived several minutes later and climbed the ridge. The two troopers descended from the ridge top to LaGrou's level. They were able to get on even ground with her several feet to her side and secure her with a rope to make sure she would not fall further.
"Young then held on to the other end to ensure the woman wouldn’t fall to her death in the creek below if she lost her footing during the rescue," a post on the troopers' Facebook page states.
A short time later, trooper Chris Bitz and wildlife trooper Jim Ellison arrived on scene and made their way to the ridge top 30 feet above LaGrou. Bitz and Ellison passed additional ropes down to LaGroo and had her tie a knot around herself, according to Ipsen.
Once LaGrou was tied into the rope atop the ridge, Ellison rappelled to the cliff edge and helped LaGrou back up the slope to safety while Bitz pulled on LaGrou's rope from above. According to troopers, the entire rescue lasted about 45 minutes.
The troopers called a nearby search and rescue crew, Healy High Angle Rescue, according to Ipsen, but elected to handle the rescue on their own because the high angle rescue team would take longer to get to the location.
No injuries were reported from the incident.
The entire scene was filmed for the television show "Alaska State Troopers" by photographers with the National Geographic Channel. Troopers estimated the show would air in the fall.
Contact staff writer Weston Morrow at 459-7520. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMschools.