Bottom Tier Superhero
Injured hiker rescued after four days in remote Utah area
Garfield County » Maine woman had a broken leg, no food.
By Jessica miller - The Salt Lake Tribune
Apr 28 2012
Garfield County and state authorities rescued a 59-year-old hiker Saturday after she spent four days in a remote area with no food and a broken leg.
Victoria Grover, of Wade, Maine, set out on Tuesday for a day hike and parked her rented vehicle at the Hell’s Backbone Road, planning to walk to Sand Creek and back. The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office said she is an experienced outdoorswoman and had visited the Sand Creek area 40 years ago while taking an outdoors course at BYU.
When it became dark and Grover hadn’t reached her car, she decided to spend the night in the desert. On Wednesday, she jumped off a four-foot ledge and broke her leg just above the ankle. She was able to scoot herself to Sand Creek, authorities said, where she was able to drink water, but she had no food or shelter.
Grover, who is diabetic, told rescuers she survived by lying in the sun during the day to sleep and staying awake at night.
On Thursday when she failed to check out of the bed-and-breakfast where she was staying, the innkeepers called the sheriff’s office. Using rental car information found in her room, deputies were able to locate her vehicle on the Hell’s Backbone Road, authorities said.
Search and rescue crews couldn’t find Grover Thursday or Friday, so the Utah Highway Patrol helicopter was called to assist Friday night.
Saturday morning, search and rescue personnel on horseback found her tracks leading downstream, and she was spotted by a UHP helicopter about 9:30 a.m. An EMT treated Grover on site, and she was taken to Garfield Memorial Hospital where she was treated for exposure and a broken leg.
"It’s truly a miraculous survival," Deputy Ray Gardner said in a press release. "If we hadn’t been able to find her car rental agreement to locate her car, we’d still be looking for her, and I feel certain she wouldn’t have survived much longer."
Gardner said that even for simple day hikes, hikers should make sure they tell someone exactly where they are going and when they plan on returning.
04-29-2012 02:00 PM
Lost - No Reward
Lost hiker credits Mormon faith for survival
A veteran outdoor enthusiast who survived four days with a broken leg in the Southern Utah wilderness says she relied on her Mormon faith, played mind games and recited poetry to help pass the time until rescuers arrived.
"I prayed a lot and derived comfort from it," said Victoria Grover, who is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
"I thought God would do everything possible to help me overcome my stupidity. I learned from my mother that things can always be worse."
The hunger and pain weren't the worst parts of Grover's ordeal as she shivered alone for four days with a broken leg and no food in Utah's rugged wilderness.
The toughest challenge was facing the "incredible" boredom and severe cold that came as nighttime temperatures dropped to the low 30s, she said.
The 59-year-old had set out on a six-mile-long day hike April 24 in the Dixie National Forest but became stranded after breaking her leg during a jump from a 4-foot ledge.
By the time rescuers located her Saturday, she was holed up along a creek suffering from hypothermia.
"The hunger is something that comes in waves. You get hungry and want to eat everything and then it goes away," Grover said.
"The worst thing is the cold. It never warmed up except for a few hours in the afternoon."
Grover, a physician assistant from Wade, Maine, was recovering Sunday at a Southern Utah hospital, where doctors expect her to make a full recovery.
"I'm sure she'll be hiking again," said Dr. Daniel Allen, of Valley View Medical Center in Cedar City.
Grover has diabetes, but the doctor said it had no impact on her blood sugar or accident.
Grover said she survived by sleeping in shade during the day when highs were in the 50s and low 60s. She stayed awake at night while curled up in a poncho that she said helped save her life by serving as a windbreaker
"The last night, I stopped shivering, and that's one of the early signs of hypothermia. The last night was the worst," Grover said.
Authorities were able to locate Grover through a rental car agreement found in her room at a guest ranch where she was staying. The establishment notified the sheriff's office when she failed to check out Thursday as scheduled.
The unmarked, unmaintained trail Grover hiked took her over terrain featuring slot canyons and pine- and juniper-covered ridges.
Ironically, Grover was revisiting country she first saw while taking a Brigham Young University survival course 40 years ago. "I knew what I had to do to survive," she said, because of her outdoors and medical experience.
She finally enjoyed her first meal Saturday night.
"Before that, I was dreaming of oranges, which is one of my favorite foods," she said.
"But there are people who can go for weeks and weeks without food in this world. We have it easy in America."
Lost - No Reward
And of course if you follow the news in Utah this story will repeat itself all summer; lost/injured hiker rescued gives thanks/credit to god.
Last year while I was hiking in Zion I was about to jump off a little 4 foot ledge, when Satan appeared to me and said, "Hey dumb ass, how about you climb down that ledge carefully instead? If you jump and break your leg you'll be stranded out here with only the holy ghost and other hallucinations to keep you company for the next 4 days until the search and rescue finally finds you; don't be stupid."
...come to think of it, that Satan might have been Tom.
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