‘I wasn’t prepared to be in the snow’: 2022 Utah Hiker rescues slightly ahead of last year

Apr 28, 2022, 6:02 PM | Updated: Jun 20, 2022, 2:13 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — As the spring temperatures warm in Utah and people head to the mountains for a picnic or hiking, Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team is warning of dangerous conditions and urging visitors to be prepared.

“One moment you’re going to have sunny skies like we had in the valley this afternoon, and now we have clouds rolling in this evening that can produce some moisture,” said Wayne Bassham, a volunteer with Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue.

Bassham has volunteered on SLCO SAR for 12-years, he estimated that he’s put his rescue skills to work on close to 1,000 operations.

He said in 2021 SLCO SAR performed 80 rescues, this year the team is already up to 13, three more than this same time last year.

Bassham said a common theme in many of those rescues is simply hikers unprepared for the conditions.

“You come up the canyon, it’s nice in the valley, they (hikers) have no idea there is snow still on the ground just a few feet off the road,” Bassham said.

In Little Cottonwood Canyon hikers TJ and Brooke discovered snow on their visit to Lisa Falls, the pair spent the afternoon hammocking and enjoying the warmer temperatures.

“I wasn’t prepared to be in the snow, I literally slipped over there, you probably heard me,” said TJ.

Bassham said there are ten essential items that all hikers, even those out for a day hike should have.

“You want to have water, you want to have a light source, you want to have some food and nutrition, you want to have a mylar blanket of some sort or a trash bag in case it starts to rain,” he explained.

One item that Bassham said all parents should consider putting in their child’s pocket when spending time in the mountains is a whistle. He said if you’re near a river or creek the child’s voice is likely going to be muffled or suppressed by the sound of the water.

“The kids can’t yell loud enough to have you hear them, so if they don’t have a whistle you’re not going to hear a kid call for help,” he says.

For Bassham, the call he dreads the most is the one where a child is hurt or missing, and he’s had several of those during his time as a search and rescue volunteer.

“That’s probably the most heart-wrenching thing you can possibly imagine, is seeing a child endangered or that has suffered a tragic accident,” he said.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Keith Jensen's Christmas home lit up by all the festive lights. (KSL-TV)...
Michael Locklear

Millcreek man lights up neighborhood with the face of Santa

Millcreek man is spreading Christmas cheer through tens of thousands of lights all around his home.
1 day ago
FILE PHOTO: The Chickadee lift is pictured at Snowbird in Little Cottonwood Canyon on Thursday, Oct...
Michael Houck

Avalanche triggered at Snowbird resort, no injuries reported

Rescue crews responded to the Snowbird Ski Resort after an avalanche was triggered on a trail. 
1 day ago
FILE PHOTO (Lehi Police Department/Facebook)...
Michael Houck

Lehi building placed on ‘lock down’ after reports of man with a gun

A misunderstanding caused a building to be placed in "lock down" after reports of a man with a gun Tuesday.
1 day ago
Pat Reavy, KSL.com

Price man arrested in woman’s 2019 death now being called a murder

A Price man has been arrested for investigation of murder in connection with the shooting death of a woman in 2019 in Carbon County that was once considered an accidental shooting.
1 day ago
A Ute Football mini helmet at the U of U official store. (KSL-TV)...
Shelby Lofton

‘It was a dream come true;’ Utah football fans hyped up for another Rose Bowl

Utah football fans are making plans for the Rose Bowl after winning the PAC-12 championship game Friday night.
1 day ago
The former Utah man and pilot, Dan Ragan....

Utah resident remembers pilot killed in Dallas Air Show crash

The former Utah man who tragically passed away in a deadly air show crash in Texas is being remembered by neighbors and friends. 
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
‘I wasn’t prepared to be in the snow’: 2022 Utah Hiker rescues slightly ahead of last year