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Search for Lost Hiker in Arches, 8-18 to 8-19 2006

Discussion in 'Archives - Yahoo Canyons Group' started by Tom Jones, Oct 10, 2006.

  1. Tom Jones

    Tom Jones Guest

    06-57 8-18, 19-06 Search for Overdue Hiker Arches Natural Park Michael left the parking lot Thursday evening to go take pictures near Pine Tree Arch. Henry, his friend, slept in the car in the parking lot all night waiting for him. In the morning Henry looked and by afternoon contacted the Park Service. Park personnel set up an Incident Command Post and dispatched many NPS employees to search various places near Pine Tree Arch and other areas nearby notorious for hiding lost people. A suspect footprint (size 13 new hiking boot) was photographed. Nancy and Shalla the search dog worked for hours. Just before dark, an NPS tracking team northeast of the park in Long Valley found fresh tracks coming down slope and heading northeast, possibly toward I-70 we thot. I took the foot print photo out to this group and they said "Nope. We're following a different print." Then we had to decide if the picture was correct or the footprints in Long Valley. Nancy and Shalla came out and Shalla "was interested." We tracked slowly until 2:30 am. In the morning, Arches IC had teams out everywhere. GCSAR was paged to come out to put more coverage on the northeast boundary of the park and pick up on last night's tracks. We did. Last night's tracks led up a hill and then we couldn't find them in the rocky terrain. The other team found his blue bandana and tracks leading back up towards the park. (These most likely would tie in with tracks up in Eagle Park heading west). At 11:15 we were all told to hold our positions. Twenty minutes later we were told he had walked in to the Airport on Hwy 191. Responders: Bego, Nancy, Shalla, Duckie, Mike, Steve, Barbara, Kris, Lee, Sam

    Comments: Arches IC was great. Arches dispatch Nancy was superb and awesome ! ! ! ! ! It was quite some time in to the search when the correct footprint was deduced. Many thanks to Slickrock Air Guides and Larry Van Slyke for the airplane time. Note: Michael said the plane flew over him 3 times and he was waving frantically. This points out the difficulty of spotting someone in complex and vegetated terrain from a plane going 90 mph. Had he been out in the flats, he most likely would have been spotted.
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