‘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

Local News

Noah McArthur (left) in the hospital with his mother, Christine Sara (right) (Courtesy: Christine S...

Emma Benson

Local school district making changes after 3 students hit in crosswalks

After three teenagers were hit by a car in the last year, Wasatch School District is implementing new safety features on their city's streets.

30 minutes ago

An artemia shrimp in a tank. (KSL TV)...

Jeff Dahdah, KSL TV

Great Salt Lake preservation key for global food security

A valuable food resource that supplies the world, could disappear with the Great Salt Lake if water levels are not maintained.

1 hour ago

Brighton Ski Resort (Mark Less, KSL TV)...

Alex Cabrero

Utah’s fastest lift opens at Brighton Resort

This lift is all about speed. It brings 2,400 people up to the top each hour. That's a thousand more than the old Crest lift.

2 hours ago

Blair Barfuss, the new Riverton Police chief. (The City of Riverton)...

Eliza Pace

Riverton Police Chief leaves office

Police Chief Blair Barfuss with the Riverton Police Department is no longer the Police Chief according to Riverton City. 

2 hours ago

Attorney General Sean Reyes...

Suzanne Bates, Deseret News

Utah AG Sean Reyes announces he will not run for reelection, says he believes women who have accused Tim Ballard

Reyes said he ‘apologized’ to the women that his relationship with Ballard made them feel ‘powerless and without a voice to fight back’

3 hours ago

The new 200 South with new bike lanes, bus islands, and curb extensions. (KSL TV)...

Katija Stjepovic

Plans announced for 200 South Reconstruction Project

As Utah grows, more people rely on public transit, forcing officials to add more routes and pedestrian safety features to the state's roads.

4 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Design mockup half in white and half in color of luxury house interior with open plan living room a...

Lighting Design

Lighting Design 101: Learn the Basics

These lighting design basics will help you when designing your home, so you can meet both practical and aesthetic needs.

an antler with large horns int he wilderness...

Three Bear Lodge

Yellowstone in the Fall: A Wildlife Spectacle Worth Witnessing

While most people travel to this park in the summer, late fall in Yellowstone provides a wealth of highlights to make a memorable experience.

a diverse group of students raising their hands in a classroom...

Little Orchard Preschool

6 Benefits of Preschool for Kids

Some of the benefits of preschool for kids include developing independence, curiosity, and learning more about the world.

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