Search and Rescue responds while hikers help ‘missing’ woman near Emerald Lake

Emerald Lake basin. Photo by R. Brissette/www.fs.fed.us/Mount Timpanogos trails

UTAH COUNTY, Utah, Oct. 8, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — A 23-year-old woman was hiking with her grandfather Saturday afternoon, when the pleasant outing turned into a “missing person” situation.

Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon told Gephardt Daily the young woman, who  is mentally challenged, was hiking with her grandfather on a trail at Mount Timpanogos.

Cannon said the woman was moving at a faster pace than her grandpa and failed to heed his urging to slow down and stay with him. She kept hiking up the trail until she was out of sight and her exact location was unknown.

Search and Rescue was called out and a Department of Public Safety helicopter responded to fly over Emerald Lake to try to spot the woman.

Cannon said there was a great deal of concern because the granddaughter wasn’t prepared for the increasingly chilly weather at that elevation.

“We didn’t think she made it to the top of Timpanogos, but you know, down below it was probably 55 degrees, and at 11,000 feet or so, you have maybe mid-30s,” Cannon said.

What no one knew was that another woman who was hiking saw the 23-year-old, found her some shelter and left food and water with her before heading down the trail to call officials. Cannon said several other people also saw her and gave her some provisions and a sleeping bag to help her stay warm. The young woman apparently was unwilling to head back down the trail.

Once the rescue crews were made aware of the young woman’s location, she came down in the DPS helicopter.

Cannon said she was safe and in good condition.

Image: U.S. Forest Service

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