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Search Continues for Missing Hikers in Zion National Park

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avatar Search Continues for Missing Hikers in Zion National Park
April 26, 2011 06:10PM
Search Continues for Missing Hikers in Zion National Park
Date: April 19, 2011
Contact: Ray O'Neal, 435-772-7823
Contact: David Eaker, 435-772-7811

Zion National Park is currently conducting a search for two missing hikers. Evgenia Bruzulukova, 25 from Roy, Utah and Jonathon Wilson, 28 from Portland, Oregon, had a backcountry permit for a one day trip through Russell Gulch and the Left Fork of North Creek (The Subway) on Saturday, April 16. This area is located near the Kolob Terrace Road in the park approximately 15 miles north of Virgin, Utah.

Bruzulukova and Wilson were last seen by park visitors on Saturday morning, April 16, at the head of Russell Gulch. Park rangers began search efforts on Sunday, April 17 after the couple’s vehicle was discovered at the Left Fork of North Creek Trailhead. The trip that they had planned involves several 100 foot rappels and swims through the Left Fork of North Creek. Streams in the area are currently running very high and cold due to runoff from snowmelt.

Currently there are 25 park rangers, park employees and volunteers involved in the search effort with support assistance including a helicopter, dog teams and multiple ground search teams.

If anyone has any information concerning the missing hikers, please contact Zion National Park Dispatch at 435-772-0178.
avatar Missing Hikers Found in Zion National Park
April 26, 2011 06:11PM
Missing Hikers Found in Zion National Park
Date: April 20, 2011
Contact: Ray O'Neil, 435-772-7823
Contact: David Eaker, 435-772-7811

Two hikers that were listed as missing in Zion National park have been found. Evgenia Buzulukova, 25 from Roy, Utah and Jonathon Wilson, 28 from Portland, Oregon, were located in the Left Fork of North Creek (The Subway) last night, April 19, at approximately 10 p.m. in safe and stable condition.

Buzulukova and Wilson had a backcountry permit for a one day trip through Russell Gulch and the Left Fork of North Creek (The Subway) on Saturday, April 16. This area is located near the Kolob Terrace Road in the park approximately 15 miles north of Virgin, Utah. They eventually reached a point in The Subway where the very high and cold water conditions were such that they did not think it was safe to continue. They decided to wait at this spot for help from other hikers who may be in The Subway.

On Tuesday, April 19, they encountered another group of hikers who were able to assist the couple through the difficult area. The couple then joined the group for the rest of the route through the canyon. They were eventually located that same evening at approximately 10 p.m. by a rescue helicopter from the 66th Rescue Squadron from Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, NV. Two squadron members were lowered down to the group and assisted them on the rest of the hike out. They all arrived safely at the Left Fork of North Creek Trailhead at approximately 11 p.m. Park rangers met the couple at the trailhead and determined that they did not require any medical attention. After interviewing them, they were released.

Park rangers began search efforts on Sunday, April 17 after the couple's vehicle was discovered at the Left Fork of North Creek Trailhead. The search continued into Monday, April 18 and was greatly expanded on Tuesday, April 19 when the couple were officially listed as missing. At that point there were 25 park rangers, park employees and volunteers involved in the search effort with support assistance including a helicopter, dog teams and multiple ground search teams.

The successful conclusion to the search was in part because the hikers had obtained a backcountry hiking permit which included information useful to the searchers. They also made a wise decision to wait for help in the canyon instead of attempting a difficult and dangerous obstacle that would have pushed the limits of their capabilities and equipment. While canyon hiking (canyoneering) in Zion can be a challenging and rewarding activity, it is not one that should be entered into lightly. At least one member of each party should be experienced in canyoneering and the use of any required technical equipment.Hikers should also be aware of weather conditions and the possibility of flash floods. By entering into a narrow canyon, visitors take safety as their own responsibility. All persons canyoneering in the park should talk to qualified park staff before their hike. For more information on canyoneering in Zion, contact the park at 435-772-3256 or visit the park website at www.nps.gov/zion.
avatar Nine Hikers Rescued From Zion Backcountry
April 25, 2011 10:32AM
Zion National Park (UT)
Nine Hikers Rescued From Backcountry

On Sunday, April 17th, rangers received several calls regarding overdue parties who were on the Subway Route. All were located by 2 a.m. the following morning. While investigating the reports, though, ranger Ray O'Neil noted that one vehicle was still parked at the Left Fork trailhead with a day permit for April 16th. Backcountry permit checks revealed that a party of two had planned to hike the Subway Route via the Russell Gulch technical entrance and that they had not been reported overdue. Initial investigations revealed they were not due to return to work until Tuesday. The Subway Route and all technical access routes had extremely high water flows over the weekend due to the high country snow melt, and several parties travelling top down were experiencing difficulties. A hasty search was accordingly begun that afternoon. The search continued into Monday, with air support and additional SAR personnel joining in. By Tuesday, a full ICS operation had been established that included 25 NPS ground searchers, air support and two dog teams. During this time, the Subway Route remained open to visitors under the required permit system. Every exiting party was interviewed, but none reported seeing the two missing hikers. A separate report of a single overdue hiker was also received during this time. A request was put into the military for an infrared flight over the Russell Gulch and Subway area on Tuesday evening, and two helicopters were dispatched from Nellis AFB. Before they could arrive, a party exiting the Subway Route received a 911 call, with the caller reporting that a group of nine hikers remained in the canyon due to difficulties in getting through the technical section of the route. The group included all three of the missing hikers. The helicopters were redirected to the Subway Route, where they employed infrared and night vision equipment to locate the group. Two parajumpers descended to them to determine their condition and traveled with them to the trailhead. All missing persons were accounted for, and none required medical attention. They said they'd had serious trouble getting through the water and the narrowest sections of the canyon. The Subway Route has been temporarily closed for safety reasons until further notice.
avatar Re: Nine Hikers Rescued From Zion Backcountry
April 25, 2011 06:51PM
I always thought it was kind of self-explanatory that you don't go into narrows, whether in Zion or other canyons, during times of year with high snow-melt or possibility of heavy rain. :/



http://www.flickr.com/photos/dqniel/
avatar Re: Nine Hikers Rescued From Zion Backcountry
April 25, 2011 07:09PM
It's a Darwinian thing.



Old Dude
Re: Nine Hikers Rescued From Zion Backcountry
April 25, 2011 09:24PM
Funny how the Park Service report differs from the details given by the ACTUAL rescuers.

http://www.facebook.com/notes/north-wash-outfitters-llp/subway-rescue/10150163805311501
avatar Re: Search Continues for Missing Hikers in Zion National Park
April 26, 2011 08:51PM
As I moved closer to the point where it narrowed up and the water became very strong I could see around the corner a man stuck in a nook on the side of the canyon. He yelled to us, "don't come down here, I've been here since yesterday."

That made me laugh while reading. I have a sick sense of humor, I guess. For some reason in my brain it translated as "I don't want you to come down here. This is my spot."

Thanks for the link LVRAY.



http://www.flickr.com/photos/dqniel/
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