Crews rescue man stuck on Mt. Timpanogos

UTAH COUNTY, Utah, June 16, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — Utah County Search and Rescue crews assisted a man stuck on Mt. Timpanogos Sunday morning.

A news release from the Utah County Sheriff’s Office said: “20-year-old Cole Bernal, from Austin, Texas, is on kind of a road trip to enjoy the outdoors and engage in hiking and other outdoor activities. He arrived in Utah yesterday and his first adventure ended differently than he probably anticipated.”

Bernal left from the Aspen Grove Trailhead about 6 a.m. Sunday intending to hike to the summit of Mt. Timpanogos, the news release said. A couple of hours into the hike he was crossing an ice covered avalanche deposit from this past winter when he realized he was in trouble. This was at an elevation of about 8,200 feet and because the avalanche path was so steep Bernal felt like he could not continue the direction he was going.

“When he tried going back he realized he was not able to go that way either,” the news release said. “Fortunately, while he was in a designated wilderness area, he still had phone reception and was able to call 911 and explain his predicament. He stayed put while Search and Rescue (SAR) volunteers responded to help him off the mountain.”

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While Bernal was not adequately prepared for what he encountered, he made some good choices when he realized he was in trouble, the news release said.

“First he stayed put and did not try to fix the situation himself,” the news release said. “And second, he swallowed his pride and called for help! In situations like this there is grave risk when someone continues and tries to get themselves out of trouble. The Utah County Sheriff’s Office SAR volunteers have responded to may situations over the years where people have lost their step and slid down these ice and snow fields. The outcome in these situations is never good.”

Hikers have sustained serious injuries, and some have even died, when they lose their footing in areas like this, officials said.

“Fortunately Cole’s situation had a positive outcome,” the news release said. “And thanks to SAR for their skill and helping to bring about this ending.”

Gephardt Daily will have more on this developing story as information is made available.

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