SALT LAKE COUNTY

After recent tragic events, emergency personnel urge public to use caution

Jun 6, 2023, 7:00 PM

The Storm Mountain area of Big Cottonwood Canyon is seen in this file photo from KSL. In wake of three separate fatal incidents, Salt Lake County Search and Rescue is urging those planning a trip into the mountains to take note of their surroundings.

SALT LAKE CITY — In light of three recent tragic events in Utah’s mountains, Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue is urging those planning a trip into the mountains to be more aware of their surroundings and potential hazards.

In a Facebook posting, Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue said “These are obviously horrible, horrible high-stress events for everyone involved.”

Additionally, search and rescue say this reminder is not meant to pass blame to those involved in the recent events.

Tragic events

In the first incident, search and rescue say a climber was killed by a falling rock on Storm Mountain. The post says those involved in the incident let others ahead of them finish climb before starting. 

“Obviously, we can’t remove all the risks from life,” the posting said. “But it is a good reminder that loose rock and other hazards are always present and don’t let your guard down.”

In the second incident, a climber died on Outside Corner in Big Cottonwood Canyon. According to the post, the climber came off the last pitch with five pieces of gear and hit the ledge below. 

Search and rescue personnel acknowledge they may never know what went wrong in this incident. But the lesson here is even easy terrain can be fatal.

Be prepared before heading out

Over the weekend, an individual died after falling 300 feet, while rappelling on the Great White Icicle. According to search and rescue, the individuals decided not to put knots in the rope as they might not be able to retrieve them.

According to the posting, the first individual that rappelled down had knowledge of the next rappelling station. However, the second individual went too far. The first individual attempted to communicate with the other that they had gone too far. 

The post says those involved in this latest incident were experienced and well-prepared climbers. 

Search and rescue say it’s a good idea to have first aid and rescue knowledge before heading out. 

Read more: Search and rescue teams warn Utahns about dangers of playing in floodwater

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After recent tragic events, emergency personnel urge public to use caution