SAR at Center Park


Jun 16, 2012
As we were hiking back from Garfield Basin this morning, a plane flew low and fast over us once and then came back by a couple of minutes later. I thought it was a little odd for a plane to circle around so quickly up in the Uintas, but didn't think much about.

Later in the day, when I was topping out on summit 11193, I saw a helicopter hovering over a nearby ridge. Over the next half hour, we saw the helicopter return to that same ridge, which had a cliff band running along it, and circle nearby. As we were coming off the mountain, the helicopter saw us and came over and hovered above us to check us out. It was a UHP helicopter. After it became weird that they were just staring at us, I finally waved, they waved back, then moved on.

We heard the helicopter throughout the rest of the hike back, and I expected to see a ground search team coming up the trail. We never ran into a search team, but once we got to the trailhead, there was a command post set up.

I went over to tell them that we had just hiked all the way from Spider Lake and hadn't seen anybody. They got the details of when and where we had been, wrote it down along with my name, and thanked us for the information.

Evidently, a woman in her 50s had gotten lost yesterday. She and her husband had hiked in about 3 pm (we started about noon), and she had started feeling bad and decided to hike back to the trailhead by herself. I didn't hear where they were hiking, but my friend thinks they said Toquer Lake.

One of the guys from the helicopter was there and said he had seen us on the trail. My friend's girlfriend wanted to ask him why he didn't pick us up!

Anyway, it was an interesting experience. I hope they find her.
The link to the story isn't working, but there's a headline on the Uintah Basin paper's website that says they found the woman. That's good news.