VERNAL — A missing hiker in the Kings Peak area of the Ashley National Forest has been found safe and reunited with his family.
Steven A. Wiscombe, 61, of Tremonton, was hiking with his son, Josh, and 6-year-old grandson, Samuel, on the High Shortcut Trail about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday when he became separated from the others. Not long after, a strong hail and lightning storm rolled through the area, according to a press release from the Summit County Sheriff's Office.
The son and grandson were able to hike down the mountain safely. Family members called police Thursday morning.
Shanna Wiscombe, Josh's wife, received a call about 6:45 a.m. Thursday about what was happening. Because Steven Wiscombe had hiked to the summit of Kings Peak four times in the past, the initial reaction from the family was wait and see what happens, she said.
"We kind of felt everything would be OK," she said. "Prayers were said. He's not a person who's going to make stupid mistakes. We thought he probably holed up and waited it out. As a family, we thought, if we don't hear anything in six to eight hours, then there's a problem. We put everybody on alert, but we decided, 'Don't freak out. Just wait it out.' He knows how to survive in the wilderness. That's one thing we're grateful for."
A Department of Public Safety helicopter spotted Wiscombe a little before 11:30 a.m. Summit County Sheriff's detective Ronald Bridge said Steven Wiscombe "did not require any type of medical assistance." He was picked up by the helicopter and flown to the bottom of the trailhead where his family was waiting.
The trio left on Tuesday to go to Kings Peak and were planning on climbing to the summit Wednesday and returning home Thursday.