Deputies rescue man stranded on 100-foot rock pile in Quarry Park

Deputies with the Stearns County Sheriff's Office used ropes and a basket to rescue a man Saturday who was suffering from heat exhaustion and stranded on top of a large pile of rocks in the Quarry Park & Nature Preserve in Waite Park.

The sheriff's office received a call at 1:32 p.m. that a man was stuck on top of an approximately 80- to 100-foot-high granite rock pile in the park and was calling for help, according to a press release from the Stearns County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff's office recreational staff responded and found a 43-year-old St. Cloud man on top of the rock pile — he was suffering from heat exhaustion and could not stand up or walk on his own, the release said.  

First responders used ropes and a basket to lower him from the pile, and then provided him with medical care and transported him to St. Cloud Hospital, the release said. 

The largest park in Stearns Country, the Quarry Park and Nature Reserve covers 683 acres and includes 20 quarry sites that were part of the granite mining industry that flourished in Minnesota in the late 19th century, according to the Stearns County website.  

Most of the park is open to the public, but the area of granite rock piles where the man was found is not — deputies issued him a citation for being in a restricted area.

"The granite rock piles at Quarry Park are restricted areas and very dangerous for anyone to be on... If individuals are found in restricted areas at Quarry Park, they will receive citations for violating this ordinance," the sheriff's office said in the press release. 

Last June, an 18-year-old boy drowned when he jumped off a dock and into the water that fills the quarries. His body was later found in about 25 feet of water.