Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue (SLCOSAR) in Utah responded to two separate incidents over the weekend that unfortunately resulted in two deaths.
Early Friday (5/21) morning, SLCOSAR was called out for a missing hiker who had gone out the day before to climb Mount Superior in Little Cottonwood Canyon. The man made it to the summit in the evening and called his family to let them know that he was on his way back down. When he stopped communicating with them and failed to return home, the family called for help. A page went out for search and rescue members to look for a missing hiker. Teams went up to the summit of Mount Superior and along the ridgelines looking in the dark for the missing hiker. Around 7 am one of the teams spotted the missing man in a snowfield at the base of a cliff band. Teams descended the gully and, unfortunately, found the man deceased. Operations turned to a recovery mission, and more teams were sent up the mountain. Search and Rescue members were able to get the deceased man off the mountain around 10 am. All teams were off the mountain around 10:30 am.
Then, at 9 am on Saturday (5/22), SLCOSAR was called out to help a pair of climbers on the approach to the West Slabs of Mount Olympus. The two were near the base of the Slabs route when one of them slipped on steep snow. He slid a considerable distance before hitting rocks below and dropping into a narrow space between a wall of rock and deep snow which had melted away from the wall. The climber did not survive the fall. SAR sent a team of rescuers to the accident location on foot and inserted two others by helicopter hoist. The climber’s partner was airlifted off the mountain. Rescuers recovered the body of the fallen climber and moved him to a suitable location where he could be hoisted off the mountain. Life Flight and the Department of Public Safety Aero Bureau assisted with the rescue and recovery.