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Warning for Hikers

Warning for Hikers

Posted - Sep. 14, 2003 at 5:14 p.m.



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Jill Atwood reporting It's the perfect time of year for a hike, but don't forget the same rules apply now as they did during the hot summer-- go prepared.

Don't let comfortable daytime temperatures fool you. It's getting downright cold in the mountains at night, and if you're going be out past dark, know what you're doing and where you're going.

Twice this weekend LifeFlight has plucked people off the side of the mountain. Both cases could have been avoided had hikers been prepared.

"This is the greatest time of year to go for a hike because of these temperatures. It's not too hard on you. But go prepared for the weather. If something happens, make sure you can take care of yourself overnight."

A young couple had to be hoisted out of Little Cottonwood Canyon after their outing was complicated by nightfall.

They made the right decision to wait it out and call for help, rather than stumble along and risk falling. But they made the wrong decision in not going prepared to begin with.

Lane Larkin/Salt Lake County Search & Rescue: "I understand the jacket or anything they had long sleeve was a polyprophaline long sleeve shirt. So that was not anywhere what they needed for the temperature last night."

Search and Rescue crews were able to drop a care package to the two-- some blankets, food and water-- just to get them through the night. It would be a long night, but finally this morning the two were carried to safety.

A little further north, an excursion up Mount Olympus didn't turn out the way a group planned after one of them went on ahead, got disoriented, lost the trail, and then was just simply lost. Again darkness played a big role, because the hike began at 2 am.

Darren Oddenino/Friend of Lost Hiker: "The plan was to get up on Mount Olympus and watch the sunrise, and just kind of enjoy the sunrise and relax up there and then come back down. But that didn't happen."

Eventually the 22-year-old just sat down and waited to be found. Crews say that's the smartest thing a person in that situation can do.

Many people are trying to get those last hikes in before the weather turns too cold. Experts say just make sure you go prepared, know your abilities, take a map, food clothing, cell phone. And hiking at night probably is not the best idea.

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