Family of fallen hiker describes her troubled past

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The family of Christina Traylor, the young woman who fell to her death in Big Cottonwood Canyon on Sunday is working on her funeral arrangements today, but they took some time to sit down with us and explain more about who Christina was and how she was able to overcome her unstable past.

Jess Schuck is Christina Traylor's older brother but has always been more of a father to her and his two other siblings. He explained, "My mom is mentally ill, so it made it difficult for her to take care of them."

When Christina was younger, she never had a permanent home. "She has moved around a lot, between California, Reno and here," Schuck said.

Christina spent her childhood moving with her little brother and sister from family to family, even spending time in foster care. Several years ago, Jess, and his then new wife, Mackenzie Hyer, gained legal custody of Jess' three younger siblings. It was the first real home for them.

Hyer said, "For me to be able to bring them into my home and help them out is really a blessing for me."

But the couple lost one of those blessings Sunday night. Christina was hiking with friends, lost her way, and fell 80 feet from a cliff. Her family says she wasn't a rock climber. They believe she simply lost her way, got in over her head and fell. Her body was recovered Monday.

Schuck said, "The first things that go through your mind are, why?"

Hyer added, "It was so hard to have to pick flowers for her casket instead of her wedding. Those are the things we think about."

Today, the family is making arrangements with the funeral home, setting a time and date, but they also took a moment to remember Christina, who had just finished her first year of college, on scholarship at Colorado State, with a GPA of 3.9.

"Her favorite quote was, ‘Live like your going to die tomorrow, and learn like you're going to live forever,'" Her said.

That's what they are going to try and teach their little one, Logan, who is too young to remember Christina. Through pictures and stories, Schuck and Hyer are going to make sure Logan gets to know her.

Christina's funeral will be held Monday. If you'd like to send her family a story of a memory about Christina, email it to: You can also donate to the family in Christina's name at any Zions bank.



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