(KSL News) A Salt Lake couple missing after a week-long hike into the Grand Canyon has been found alive.
Maureen Oltrogge, with the Grand Canyon National Park, tells Eyewitness News Alan Humphrey and his wife, Iris Faraklas, are OK.
The couple was found, tired but otherwise in good condition, in the Royal Arch route area just after 5 p.m. We're told they were evacuated to the South Rim Helibase where they refused any medical treatment and were reunited with family members. They were reported to be extremely happy to be back on the South Rim.
NPS rangers and search teams had been attempting to locate the couple since a family member reported them as overdue on Sunday, May 25. During the investigation, it was determined that the pair had a permit to backpack the Royal Arch route from May 17 - 23, and that their vehicle was parked at the South Bass Trailhead, the entry point for the Royal Arch route.
Search efforts included aerial searches, three teams of ground searchers and one technical rope team. A follow-up interview with the couple will be conducted by the National Park Service tomorrow.
The Royal Arch route, while popular with more experienced Grand Canyon travelers, is a difficult route. Like many of the routes in the Grand Canyon, completing this loop requires route finding, canyoneering skills and traveling through areas with limited water. Park rangers recommend that people planning to travel in remote areas leave a detailed itinerary with family or friends and that they include an equipment list that includes descriptions of footwear and gear which can aide emergency personnel during a search effort.