Hiker rescued from Mount Timpanogos snowfield

Jun 16, 2019, 8:31 PM
Utah's northern mountains...
Photo courtesy of Getty Images. Snow capped Wasatch mountains under a full moon. Mount Timpanogos can be seen towering over Utah city lights glowing in Lehi, American Fork, Pleasant Grove, and Lindon.

UTAH COUNTY – A hiker is safe after being trapped on a Mount Timpanogos Sunday morning.

Cole Bernal was traveling through Utah when he found himself stuck on the summit, according to KSL.

Bernal left starting hiking around 6:00 a.m. Sunday with the intention of making it to the top of Mount Timpanogos. Considering Bernal is from out of town, he wasn’t aware of the snow left from heavy winter.

“After the first snowfield, I found the trail again, so I got cocky and thought I could find the trail every time,” Bernal said.

Before Bernal knew it, he was surrounded by snow with no way down the mountain.

“I was just in open snow and no trail to be seen,” he said. “I realized that the incline I was coming up at if I tried to go down, it was going to be a slip-slide off the cliff basically.”

Thankfully, Bernal had enough cell service to call for help. The Utah County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Team found Bernal within a couple of hours.

Sgt. Spencer Cannon of the Utah County Sheriff’s Office said he expects people to be shocked about the amount of snow still on the ground. Familiar residents are accustomed to hiking Mount Timpanogos around mid-June.

“It’s very likely that these kinds of things will happen throughout this summer. It’s also very likely that much of the snow that’s up here on and around the trail will be here until it snows again,” Cannon said.

Sgt. Cannon applauded Bernal for protecting himself and calling for help. Bernal said it was a lesson he will carry with him, according to KSL.

“Not too discouraged. I think I’ve just got to be smarter about it next time, know the conditions, more experience,” he said.

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Hiker rescued from Mount Timpanogos snowfield