UTAH COUNTY – Utah County search and rescue teams rescued at least six hikers over the Memorial Day weekend.
Those rescues included a 14-year-old boy who got stuck on a ledge at Bridal Veil Falls on Sunday and an intoxicated 18-year-old man who broke his leg in Pleasant Grove the same day.
Another 18-year-old man was rescued off a ledge 9,500 feet up Mt. Timpanogos on Memorial Day.
Rescued hikers unaware of ability level
Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon said it is common for hikers to overestimate their abilities and underestimate the conditions, which he thinks happened in several of these cases.
They don’t realize [the hike’s] going to take the amount of time it does, that the conditions are as rugged and difficult as they are, and that they’re going to strip through their supplies a lot quicker than they anticipated they would,” Cannon said.
He said the Stewart Falls area of Provo Canyon, where search and rescue teams were called out three times within 30 minutes yesterday, can also be deceiving. A woman broke her ankle at the base of the falls, while a 19-year-old woman and a 9-year-old boy both fell 40 feet and sustained serious to critical injuries.
County was prepared
Cannon said search and rescue were prepared to go out on several calls this Memorial Day weekend.
“The kinds of calls we actually go on sometimes are unexpected, but that we’re going to get those calls and that volume of calls? Not a surprise at all,” Cannon said.
He encourages visitors to plan ahead and take enough supplies. He says some trails are marked difficult for a reason.
“They’re going along and they get to a point where they realize, ‘Oh, I can’t go this way anymore’ and they turn around and go back and they realize, ‘Oh man, I can’t go down that way either’. Don’t overestimate your own ability to get through a situation where some people have been seriously injured or worse,” Cannon said.
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