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Hikers rescued off Mount Olympus; police hope more signs will reduce need for rescues

Published: Tuesday, July 31 2012 3:22 p.m. MDT

MT. OLYMPUS — Search and rescue crews helped a father and his daughter get down to the Mount Olympus trailhead Tuesday after they became lost and stuck on a cliff.

A father, 32, and his 10-year-old daughter started hiking up the trailhead about 5 a.m., said Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal. They reached the summit and started heading down. But they got off the trail at some point and hiked into the more rigorous Heughs Canyon.

By 11:15 a.m. the father sent a text message to his wife saying they were stuck.

"They became what we call 'cliffed out.' They got stuck, couldn't go up or down," Hoyal said.

The mother called police. By 2 p.m., searchers reached the stuck couple and were leading them down the correct trail. The two were not injured.

Hoyal said search and rescue crews are regularly called out to the popular Mount Olympus area for lost or stranded hikers. The majority of problems happen when hikers are returning down the mountain.

"There are a lot of trails that lead off to the side, a lot of paths that people have walked over creating a worn-out path area. Other people will think it's part of the path, start down it and get stuck," he said.

In June, Utah Highway Patrol trooper Aaron Beesley fell to his death while helping two teen hikers who had also gotten off the main trail and become stranded.

Hoyal said his department has already put a certain amount of signage in the area in an effort to keep hikers on the main trail. But Unified police are currently working with several partners again, he said, to construct additional and better signs for the area as well as pamphlets that hikers can use to hopefully not get lost.

E-mail: preavy@desnews.com, Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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