LITTLE COTTONWOOD CANYON, Utah (ABC4) – A hiker was brought home to safety after four hours of being stranded in Little Cottonwood Canyon.
On June 4, the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team was dispatched to Little Cottonwood Canyon around 7:00 p.m. for reports of a hiker who had become stranded on the wrong side of Little Cottonwood Creek.
According to officials, originally, the 53-year-old man had hiked toward the upper Maybird Gulch via the White Pine Trail. Then as he attempted to return home, he missed a turn and went the wrong way thus descending toward Little Cottonwood and the canyon bottom along the west side of Red Pine Creek.
Rescue crews say when the hiker arrived at the confluence of the Red Pine and Little Cottonwood Creeks, he found them both raging and had no way to get across safely, so that is when he decided to call SLCOSAR.
Following the call, the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue then deployed a team of 5 rescuers with a plan to hike the White Pine trailhead towards Red Pine and then to cross the stream and descend to the hiker’s location.
“The plan was for them to help the patient back up to the main trail. The drop from the main trail to the Creek is about 2,000 vertical feet in about a mile and a half. The terrain is thick brush, scree slopes and still has some snow fields,” recalls the rescue group.
According to officials as the first team descended down to retrieve the hiker, a second team was sent to Tanners Flat campground to look at the hiker’s location and determine if a “highline” could be built across the Creek.
Officials tell ABC4, a highline is a rope system used to move rescuers and patients across and above a terrain feature such as an impassable creek.
Rescue crews say after taking assessment of the location, it was determined the highline could be possible..
“After rigging the system, a rescuer was sent across the Creek with gear to help the patient get over to the campground side. Soon after the successful crossing, the team who had descended from the main trail arrived and all 6 rescuers were shuttled back across,” they tell ABC4.
According to officials everyone was off the mountain by 11:30 p.m.