Category Archives: national parks

Hiking Accident Prevention: Solo Hikers Go Missing On The Trail


 STORIES PAST AND PRESENT


Cautionary Tales For Back Country Hikers

Frequent hiker Harold “Joe” Smallwood 82, got lost while hiking solo in the Santa Rita Mountains in Arizona.  In late afternoon, he called 911 for help, reporting he was lost and couldn’t find the trail.  Until poor weather conditions prevailed, 120 people, rescue canines, horses, and helicopters, were involved in a 7-day search for the missing hiker.


Media: Solo Hiking With Unfortunate Outcomes

CNN.com – July 30, 2021Bone confirmed to be remains of missing British hiker Esther Dingley, By James Briggs

AZCentral.com  July 10, 2019 – Arizona searchers find remains of hiker who dialed for help in February, By Shaq Davis Arizona Daily Star

9NEWS.com – 3/15/19  –Search Efforts Suspended For Missing Tennessee Man In Rocky Mountain National Park, By Janet Oravetz

NYTimes.com (The New York Times) 3/26/19Geraldine Largay’s Wrong Turn: Death On The Appalachian Trail,   By Jess Bidgood and 

Adirondack Daily Enterprise.com – 3/7/16 – Hiker who died in High Peaks was experienced, but ill prepared

Herald.net 9/14/18 The 8,000-hour search to #find sam sayers on vesper peak, By Caleb Hutton

Times-Union.com –  3/18/16 Hiker,  Hua Davis’ Death A Tragedy That Didn’t Have To Happen, By Herb Terns

HeraldSun.com 10/22/19 Rescuers reach remote Cascades cabin but don’t find missing hiker, Washington cops say, By Jaret Gilmour

Asheville Citizen-Times, October 4, 2018Staying safe in the outdoors: Hiking death in Great Smokies a reminder of forest dangers,  By Karen Chavez

EPTrail.com (Estes Park, Colorado) May 12, 2019 Three missing hikers in six months is unprecedented for RMNP search and rescue operations, By Tyler Pialet (RMNP: Rocky Mountain National Park)

CNN.com October 26, 2020 Search resumes for university professor who went missing after hiking in Mount Rainier National Park, By Harmeet Kaur and Andy Rose


KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: Trip Planning Resources For Hikers and Backpackers


Irene Pastore, is a Certified Personal Trainer, fitness blogger, health educator, and speaker. She has 23 years experience teaching exercise in New York City. Visit the About page to read her bio.

Hiking Accident Prevention: What You Should Know About Rattlesnake Season

____________________

What To Do If You Encounter A Rattlesnake

ADVICE FROM THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

NPS.com 9/11/20 – Run-ins with Rattlesnakes Results In Rescues, By Yosemite National Park Search and Rescue

Click Here For Link To Article
And Here

RATTLESNAKE

Length Is 2 To 4 Feet

Striking Distance Is Half Their Length

Rattlesnake Season: Precaution Information From the San Diego Humane Society

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: Trip Planning Resources For Hikers and Backpackers


Irene Pastore, is a Certified Personal Trainer, fitness blogger, health educator,
and speaker. She has 25 years experience teaching exercise in New York City.
Visit the About Page to read her bio.


Hiking Accident Prevention: Losing The Trail In The Great Smoky Mountains


S T O R I E S   P A S T   A N D   P R E S E N T


Cautionary Tales For Back Country Hikers


 

Mother-Daughter Hike Ends In Grief

 

In October 2018, Mitzie Susan Clements, 53 and her daughter were on their way down, while hiking Clingman’s Dome – Forney Ridge Trail, in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Her 20-year-old daughter, who was hiking ahead of her, lost sight of her mother.

After a week-long search, Mitzie Clements’ body was found in a rugged off-trail area, typified by very thick vegetation and a steep, very rocky hillside.  The cause of death was hypothermia.  A helicopter removed her remains. 

At the time of their hike, the weather conditions were foggy, and temperatures were in the 40s.  According to a park official, it was raining, and approaching darkness, making it difficult to miss trail intersections.  

News articles about this story are provided in the highlighted links listed below.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina,  is the most visited national park in the United States.

Online News Sources

Asheville Citizen-Times, October 4, 2018 Great Smokies hiker found dead this week is 11th death in park this year. By Karen Chavez

Asheville Citizen-Times, October 4, 2018 – Staying safe in the outdoors: Hiking death in Great Smokies a reminder of forest dangers,  By Karen Chavez

Citizen-Times.com (Citizen Times) April 3, 2019 Autopsy Reveals Cause of Death For Woman Who Went Missing in Great Smoky Mountains,  By Karen Chavez


KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: Trip Planning Resources For Hikers and Backpackers


Irene Pastore, is a Certified Personal Trainer, fitness blogger, health educator, and speaker.  She has 23 years experience teaching exercise in New York City.   To read her complete bio visit the About Page.

 

Hiking Into Oblivion: Extreme Heat Kills Unprepared Hikers

Rise In Preventable Fatalities From Heat Stroke

NBCNews.com – June 21, 2021 Grand Canyon hiker dies on Tonto Trail during extreme heat: The 53-year-old backpacker was found dead in the Grand Canyon on Sunday, when the high reached 115 degrees, By Phil Helsel

MSN.com – June 21, 2021Hiker Dies In Extreme Heat, Another in Critical Condition, By Paige Austin (Palm Canyon Trail, Borrego Springs, California)

KVOA.com – July 13, 2021Some Phoenix hiking trails to be restricted in extreme heat, Associated Press

National Parks Traveler.org – June 22nd, 2021Deaths Rising In National Park System, By NPT Staff (Heat related)

10News.com (San Diego) Jul 12, 2021Heat-related helicopter rescues soar, By Adam Racusin

OLDER RELATED NEWS ARTICLES

Huffpost.com – Sept 8 , 2020Santa Monica Closes Trails After Hiker Dies In Extreme Heat Other hikers were rescued as record temperatures topped 110 degrees, By Mary Papenfuss

ABC News, November 4, 2018  Two People Have Died In Remote Parts of Western Australia In One Week — But Experts Say Most Outback Deaths Are Preventable, By Sarah Collard

ABC News, October 28, 2018 – Man Dies of Suspected Dehydration After Group Hiking In Kalbarri National Park Runs Out of Water, By Sarah Collard.

ABC News,  November 8, 2018  Remote Australian Deaths Prompts Warning Outback Travel Dangers Could Rise, By Emily Smith

ABC.Net.au, November 25, 2018 German Tourists Wandered 17km off Central Australia Hiking Trail Before Dying Of Dehydration, Heat Stress, By Neda Vanovac


Irene Pastore, is a Certified Personal Trainer, fitness blogger, health educator, and speaker. She has 25 years experience teaching exercise in New York City.  To read her complete bio, visit the About Page.


Hiking Accident Prevention: Learn The Risks of Slot Canyon Flash Floods

 

 Monsoon Season Brings Sudden Flooding 


SLOT CANYONS are funnel-shaped rock formations, found in the American southwest. They are wide at the top, and narrow at the bottom. Slot canyon formation is caused by water rushing through sandstone or limestone rock.  Southern Utah has the most slot canyons in the world.

SLOT CANYON FLASH FLOODS are often caused by storms miles away.  Slot canyon flash floods are dangerous, and can be life threatening.

During a flash flood, the water level rises quickly, within minutes, or seconds.  A flash flood can rush down a canyon in a wall of water 12 feet high or more.  

Hikers should check the National Weather Service, for an up-to-date report, before entering a slot canyon.  If bad weather is predicted, entering a slot canyon is dangerous, and may result in your death.


O N L I N E  N E W S  S O U R C E S

NPS.gov (National Park Service) –  Zion National Park Utah: The Narrows Safety 

NPS.gov (National Park Service) Monsoon Season 

MyUtahParks.com Be Aware of Flash Flood Dangers In Utah’s Canyons,  By Carly Everett  – 6/19/19

Blogs.Scientific American.comInstant Peril: Flash Floods and How To Survive Them.  Flash Floods Kill People Worldwide  Find Out How To Survive,  By Dana Hunter – 12/28/16

LATimes.com/Associated Press Report: Hikers Were Warned Before Flood,  9/30/97

CNN.com – 7 Dead In Zion National Park Flash Flood,  By Ralph Ellis – 9/17/15

OutsideOnline.com Special Report: The Keyhole 7,  By Grayson Schaffer – 5/24/16

ChicagoTributne.comUtah Floods That Killed 19 Show Dangers Of Popular Desert Canyons,   By Tribune Wire Reports – 9/17/15

Weather.gov (US National Weather Service)Floods  

OutsideOnline.com Surviving A Flash Flood In A Slot Canyon,  By Joe Spring – 9/11/13

Backpacker.com – The Manual: How To Explore A Slot Canyon,  By Kristin Bjornsen and Rebecca Kane – 2/14/17


KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: Trip Planning Resources For Hikers and Backpackers


Irene Pastore, is a Certified Personal Trainer, fitness blogger, health educator, and speaker. She has 25 years experience teaching exercise in New York City.  To read her complete bio, visit the About Page.