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Thread: Two lost hikers rescued after losing trail, traveling over 23 miles

  1. #1

    Two lost hikers rescued after losing trail, traveling over 23 miles

    From St. George news:
    http://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/arc.../#.V3MZp0YwiCj

    KANE COUNTY – Two hikers were rescued by helicopter Monday night after getting lost and running out of water while hiking near Zion National Park.
    The Classic Air Medical helicopter used to rescue two hikers Monday in flight at Lake Powell, date unspecified | Photo courtesy of Classic Air Medical, St. George NewsA couple had been hiking in the area of Checkerboard Mesa, Classic Air Medical spokesperson Chad Bowdre said.

    “They had been hiking for a day and had gone 23 miles total,” Bowdre said. However, the pair lost the trail in slickrock, and then ran out of water before setting off a personal locator beacon, he said.

    “They were lost for 10 hours and out of water for four hours and were struggling a little physically,” Bowdre said, when they set off the beacon.

    The couple had parked one car at Checkerboard Mesa and another vehicle near Mt. Carmel Junction.

    Air Medical got the call shortly before 8:30 p.m., Bowdre said, and because the personal locator beacon coordinates are very, very accurate the helicopter crew was able to fly directly to the lost hikers’ location.

    “We got right over the coordinates and saw two people using shiny headlamps to signal,” he said. Even though lost and in distress, the hikers did almost everything right to ensure a successful outcome.

    The GPS coordinates received placed the two about 1.7 miles south of the eastern Zion National Park entrance station located on state Route 9, Kane County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Alan Alldredge said.

    “They had been hiking in the Barracks/Fat Man’s Misery area and were returning to their car at Checkerboard Mesa,” Alldredge said.
    Fat Man’s Misery is the West fork of Misery Canyon, according to canyoneeringusa.com.

    “Because of the remote area they were in and the possible medical emergency, we contacted Classic (Air Medical), who has a medical helicopter stationed in Kanab, and asked them to see if they could locate the hikers,” Alldredge said.

    The hikers were located quickly and one was flown to Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George. The helicopter then returned and picked up the second hiker, who was returned to a vehicle at Checkerboard Mesa in Zion National Park.

    The trail the two were hiking is mostly outside of Zion National Park, park spokeswoman Aly Baltrus said, and so Kane County responded with their search and rescue team.

    “They did find the hikers just inside the park and were able to help them,” she said.

    Personal locator beacons are a good idea, Bowdre said, and a basic model can be purchased for about $100. Higher-end models allow texts and emails to be sent via satellite, and the devices work where cell phones don’t.

    This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

    Email: japplegate@stgnews.com
    Twitter: @STGnews
    Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

  2. Likes jman liked this post
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  4. #2
    I'm wondering if they ran into trouble on the scramble out of The Barracks.

  5. #3
    Good homework (preparation), good hardware, and practice goes a long way to avoiding major errors. At almost 65 years old I am still learning how to get the most out of today's technology, and learning to do better preparation. Sometimes its just observing the information in your hand!

    It does not help if you forget to store your cars GPS coords before you hit the trail! As I have done.
    Last edited by kiwi_outdoors; 06-29-2016 at 06:43 AM. Reason: fix error

  6. #4
    what they did wrong was not realizing they had a problem in the first 1/2 mile of the 23 miles.
    It sounds like they didn't get lost until the end of the hike. From the article, it seems that the first 17 or 18(?) miles or so went fine and they got lost on the exit.

    It may have been a mistake to try that entire route in a day (most people take 2-3 days for that route, some even take longer), and it was certainly a mistake getting lost, but I don't see how the problem had been evident in the first 1/2 mile.

    Or at least that's what I gathered from the story. I don't think the 23 miles meant that they were lost the entire 23 miles, but that's what they ended up hiking that day after hiking the entire canyon (usually 19 miles?) and getting lost on the exit.
    Utah is a very special and unique place. There is no where else like it on earth. Please take care of it and keep the remaining wild areas in pristine condition. The world will be a better place if you do.

  7. #5
    When has the newspaper ever gotten the facts right? It's impossible to get lost hiking through The Barrcks as you just follow the river.

    I'm betting they got lost exiting out Checkerboard Mesa as it can be difficult finding the correct route if you've never done it before, or can't read a map, or don't know how to use a GPS. The Checkerboard Mesa exit would be brutally hot this time of yesr.

  8. Likes Scott P liked this post
  9. #6
    I have heard multiple stories of people setting of a emergency location beacon. What kind of beacon is this? I carry my GPS & phone but I don't believe either have a emergency beacon on them. I would be interested in looking into them.

  10. #7
    Yes, based on the car shuttle set up, it sounded like they were trying to the full Barracks hike from Mt. Carmel to Checkerboard in a day. The side trips up Fat Man's Misery and then the late wandering trying to scramble out toward Checkerboard probably indeed added up to near 23 miles. Although, if they were reporting that off GPS tracking totals, it's unlikely that total is correct since GPS errors were probably high in the narrowest parts of the canyon.

  11. Likes Scott P liked this post
  12. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by dakotabelliston View Post
    I have heard multiple stories of people setting of a emergency location beacon. What kind of beacon is this? I carry my GPS & phone but I don't believe either have a emergency beacon on them. I would be interested in looking into them.
    I'm guessing it was a SPOT, but could've been a Delorme InReach.

  13. #9
    My Boss's daughter and her boyfriend... visiting from CA... Flew the wiener out, went back for the girl later.

  14. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by double moo View Post
    My Boss's daughter and her boyfriend... visiting from CA... Flew the wiener out, went back for the girl later.
    Again please, in English.

  15. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by double moo View Post
    My Boss's daughter and her boyfriend... visiting from CA... Flew the wiener out, went back for the girl later.
    Hahaha... I understood that perfectly. Maybe you need to have daughters to understand.

  16. Likes Glenn liked this post
  17. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Iceaxe View Post
    Hahaha... I understood that perfectly. Maybe you need to have daughters to understand.
    OK - you confirmed my suspicion about its meaning.

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