Couple rescued from Blue Mountains after guide gets lost, woman falls 15 metres

Judi Atkinson bought Jason Gardner a day trip in the Blue Mountains for Christmas. Photo: Supplied: FacebookA Christmas gift of a canyoningtrip in the Blue Mountains turned to disaster for a NSW couple after their tour guide became lost and the woman plunged 15 metres down a cliff.
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Judi Atkinson, 39, bought her partner Jason Gardner a day trip to Claustral Canyon in the Blue Mountains for Christmas. But the couple were forced to spend the night in the caves after their tour guide became lost and Ms Atkinson was injured trying to climb out.

The couple from Shellharbour, just south of Wollongong, expected to spend Friday abseiling into the canyon, swimming in rock pools and climbing through caves.

However, the group spent hours trying to find their way out aftertheir canyoning guide lost his way.

Things went from bad to worse when Ms Atkinson slippedwhile climbing out of the canyonand fell 15 metres, smashing her knee and pelvis. With daylight fading and Ms Atkinson now seriously injured, the group were forced to spend the night in bushland – with Ms Atkinson in considerable pain – waiting for a helicopter.

Adventure turned sour: Judi Atkinson and Jason Gardner were forced to spend the night in bushland after their tour guide became lost. Photo: Supplied: Facebook

The couple were winched to safety on Saturday morning and Ms Atkinson was taken to Westmead Hospital for surgery.

Mr Gardner stayed with Ms Atkinson throughout the ordeal.

“So lucky to have such a beautiful person in my life, that just loves adventures like me. Sweet man who abseiled down to be with me and never left my side till the Helo took me,” Ms Atkinsonwrote on her partner’s Facebook account on Saturday.

In another message describing how the couple’s day of adventure turned sour, Ms Atkinson advised others to do their research before trusting someonewith their life.

“[O]ur guide had a mind snap and got us completely lost and stranded! I’m not naming and shaming, but make sure you ask alot [sic] more questions before you put your life into someone elses [sic] hands.”