A woman who was hiking with her husband tragically froze to death after he ran for help, only to return to find she had succumbed to the cold weather.
The husband, 33, and wife, 31, had begun their journey Tuesday, camping overnight in Zion National Park.
Temperatures dropped overnight and the woman showed signs of hypothermia while the man was injured.
They were walking a 15-mile route through the Narrows Wednesday morning when they decided to pull over and split off so the man could get help for both of them.
The man and woman had begun their journey on Tuesday, camping overnight in the Utah park. Temperatures dropped overnight and the woman showed signs of hypothermia while the man was injured. In the photo: Zion National Park
The woman was left behind at their stopping point, about a mile from the north end of Riverside Walk — a paved path that leads from the Temple of Sinawava to the Narrows.
Eventually, the man found park rangers on the trail and alerted them to the situation – they took him to a medical center.
Before the Zion rescue teams arrived, other visitors gave the woman CPR. But it was too late and by the time the husband and rescuers returned, she was dead.
Authorities have not released the identity of the couple.
Before the Zion rescue teams arrived, other visitors gave the woman CPR. But it was too late and by the time the husband and rescuers returned, she was dead. In the photo: Zion National Park
The 33-year-old died the same day rescuers found the body of a teenage girl who froze to death after missing a turn on her descent and getting lost on a hike.
Emily Sotelo, 19, died in Franconia Notch State Park, New Hampshire. Her body was found on Wednesday after a grueling four-day search.
She had achieved her goal of climbing all 48 peaks in the state.
Emily had gone for a walk alone on Sunday morning and was dropped off at the trail by her mother. While a cause of death has not yet been confirmed by an autopsy, police believe she died of exposure.
Friends have paid tribute to the 19-year-old, who would have turned 20 this week. Her goal was to climb all 48 peaks in New Hampshire before her 20th birthday.
She made it to all three summits she wanted and unfortunately on the descent she missed the turn which is hard to find on a windy day or just in general.
“This has happened before in the exact same area where she went off track in 2021. Luckily those guys got through by thawing their cell phones under their armpits and SAR found them before they froze,” her friend and fellow hiker Brian Garvey said.
Originally from Massachusetts, Emily Sotelo made it to her planned destination, but at one point succumbed to freezing temperatures that dropped to 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Her body was found on Wednesday, on what would have been her 20th birthday
Her body, officials said, was found on the northwest slope of Mount Lafayette within the boundaries of Franconia Notch State Park, where she had hiked four days earlier. It’s not yet known when or how she died, but officials said on Wednesday it was likely due to exposure
“She was sweet and so happy to be in the woods. She was young and ready to take on anything,” Jessie Callaghan, who met her on a previous hiking trip, said on Facebook.
The sprawling four-day quest effort, she added, was “hampered by high winds, frigid temperatures and blowing snow” — ultimately proving suspicion that Sotelo could not have survived those conditions on her own.
Upon making the grim discovery, officials called in a National Guard helicopter to retrieve Sotelo’s body from the mountainside.
Fish and Game officer David Walsh warned hikers about the dangers of hiking while underclothed in the state’s infamous White Mountains, an area often considered treacherous in the winter.
“The biggest lesson you can learn from a tragedy like this is that when hiking in New Hampshire, especially in the White Mountains, you have to be prepared for the unexpected,” he told WMUR-TV.
During their search, officials said, temperatures had dropped to “about zero,” with wind speeds making the chill factor -30 degrees Fahrenheit.
Walsh warned others with plans to hike the dangerous mountain range to take necessary precautions and take the dangers of the winter season seriously.
Officials who searched for four days, they added, were “hampered by high winds, cold temperatures and blowing snow” — finally proving their suspicions that Sotelo could not have survived those conditions alone
“Be prepared with knowledge,” the official said. Know the weather conditions. Dress for the weather conditions. Provide extra clothing. Provide extra food, water. Get a headlamp map, a compass.’
New Hampshire conservation officials said searchers found the body of Sotelo, a 5’3′ sophomore at Vanderbilt University, at 11:15 a.m. She was an avid hiker and had been close to her goal of conquering New Hampshire’s 48 peaks above 4,000 feet before she turned 20.
Sotelo, her parents said, planned to hike several trails in the area, but wasn’t dressed for the frigid weather that soon followed her departure.
Temperatures dipped to “about zero,” with winds making the chill factor -30 degrees Fahrenheit, Pemigewasset Valley Search and Rescue Team officials said. said Sunday during the start of their search.
Fish and Game officers and volunteers from more than a dozen search and rescue teams would then spend the next several days combing the area, using aircraft and sniffer dogs, eventually finding a trail and items left behind by Sotelo. at the headwaters of Lafayette Brook on Tuesday afternoon.
However, by nightfall, officials reclassified their efforts from a rescue mission to one involving just recovery.
“Pemi has three teams looking for this missing hiker tonight,” the search team said in a Facebook post at the time.
Officials said Wednesday that Sotelo, an avid hiker, had nearly reached her goal of conquering New Hampshire’s 48 peaks above 4,000 feet before she turned 20.
“Sunday night’s weather conditions were single-digit temperatures, winds of 40 to 60 miles per hour, blowing snow, and she wasn’t dressed accordingly for those temperatures,” Walsh told WMUR-TV on Wednesday.
“Those are extreme conditions and then she went off track.”
Sotelo was a sophomore majoring in biochemistry and chemical biology at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.
In a letter to students Wednesday, Vice Provost GL Black mourned Sotelo, noting how she had become an active member of the community since transferring from the College of William & Mary this year.