On July 26, 2021, Search and Rescue responded to the Simmons Canyon area on the face of the Big Horn Mountains, Wyoming.
An adult male and an adult female from Powell, WY left the Porcupine Falls area on July 18. The victims ran out of food and water and one was experiencing medical complications. They tried hiking off the Little Mountain area towards the road.
However, with heat and lack of water, they became dehydrated and one victim’s medical condition deteriorated rapidly. Late in the afternoon of 7/26, they were able to get cell phone service and contact the Big Horn County Sheriff’s Office requesting assistance. The victims had become stranded on a rimrock cliff area and were unable to proceed up or down any further due to the extremely steep terrain.
North and South Search and Rescue units deployed to the area and after a rapid ascent were able to make contact with the victims.
Due to their exhaustion, dehydration, and medical conditions, the victims were unable to be moved. Rescue personnel brought food, water, medical treatment, and cared for the victims through the night. One victim was also badly sunburned. Arraignments were made during the night for the Wyoming Air National Guard from Cheyenne to make a rescue flight into the area at daylight to evacuate them out. Smoke and air conditions cleared efficiently to hoist the victims one by one and transport them to awaiting North Big Horn Ambulance personnel near the causeway at Highway 14AE.
At this time it is expected the victims will make a complete recovery from the ordeal.
A special thank you to the Wyoming Air National Guard for responding with difficult flight conditions and accepting the mission. Special thanks to Big Horn County Emergency Management Coordinator LaRae Dobbs for her role in flight operations. As always thank you to the North Big Horn Ambulance Service for their efforts.
Thank you to the Search and Rescue units for their special efforts to dig in a stay the night, and all they do to help people in Big Horn County. This situation could have had tragic consequences without their rapid response.
With the hot and dry temperatures, we want to remind everybody to be extremely cautious during this time and make sure they have plenty of water, sunscreen, and clothing to protect them from the extreme heat elements.