Missing Idaho Hiker Found Dead After 1,000-Foot Fall

Sep 20, 2020, 8:06 PM | Updated: Nov 29, 2022, 10:58 pm

DUCHESNE COUNTY, Utah — A four-day search for missing Idaho hiker, Kyle Wimpenny, has come to an end as search and rescue crews have located his body. Investigators said it appears he fell approximately 1,000 feet while attempting to summit Kings Peak.

Wimpenny’s body was found just before 2:30 p.m. Sunday, according to the Summit County Sheriff’s Office.

With help from the Utah Department of Public Safety Aero Bureau, his body was airlifted from Kings Peak Henry’s Fork drainage to Kamas, Utah where his body was turned over to the Utah Office of the Medical Examiner.

“It does appear as he was trying to summit King’s Peak,” said Lt. Andrew Wright with the Summit County Sheriff’s Office. “He was on a very narrow pathway on the trail that he was following. It was a ridge, and unfortunately, he fell. They’re guessing about a thousand feet down.”

Officials said Wimpenny, 25, left his home in Boise, Idaho on Sept. 13 to hike Kings Peak, and was expected to return home on Sept. 16. When he didn’t show up, his roommate reported him missing.

Search and rescue crews started looking for him on Thursday, and found his vehicle at the Henry’s Fork Trailhead. Crews from 10 different agencies searched on foot, by horseback, and in the air for four days.

King’s Peak is the highest peak in Utah. It’s incredibly steep and has very rocky terrain, but Kyle’s family said he was a very experienced hiker and would have been prepared.

Officials were told his goal was to hit the highest peaks in other states as well, and this was his eighth attempt.

A couple other hikers said they hiked with Kyle for a mile or two as he headed to the peak, and said he was in good spirits. He apparently wanted to summit Sunday night, but the other hikers thought it was too late.

They said they expected to run into him the next day as he came back down, but never saw him.

“Our hearts are broken for the Wimpenny family and friends. We offer our most sincere condolences as they mourn the tragic loss of Kyle,” read a press release from the Sheriff’s office.

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Missing Idaho Hiker Found Dead After 1,000-Foot Fall