By KIM KUMMER
A Murray resident and his 8-year-old daughter were found in good condition when a 10-minute hike up Cottonwood Canyon went awry Monday evening.
Marvin Zitting and his daughter, Sarah, left Dogwood Camp at about 6 p.m., Zitting said. “We were going to be gone for about 15 minutes.”
They got off the trail and hiked to the top of a hill for the view, Zitting said. He realized it was beginning to get dark and began the descent. They got about half-way down.
“It got kind of steep and we kept moving,” Zitting said.
Marvin figured the best path would be down the crevasse between the mountains. Marvin carried Sarah part of the way.
Lori Zitting, Marvin’s wife, stayed below and waited, Zitting said. When her husband and daughter didn’t return she became worried and used a camper’s cellular phone to call the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Department.
About 25 search and rescue members were called to the scene, including Vector, a yellow Labrador retriever used to track people, said Sgt. Lane Larkin of the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office. Vector was brought to the trail where the two hikers were last seen. The dog picked up the scent and the hikers were found three hours after they left, Larkin said.
They were found in “good condition,” Larkin said. Sarah had a dress on with slip-on tennis shoes. Marvin had loafers for footwear.
“They should have never been hiking in that dress wear,” Larkin said.
“We were glad they found us,” Zitting said. “They radioed down to tell Lori and the people at the base of the mountain that they had found us and we were okay.”
Next time “I’d start back sooner and make sure there was plenty of light and try to stay to the time limit we said we’d be gone,” Zitting said.
“Even the shortest outing can turn into a dangerous situation if they (the hikers) are not prepared for it,” said Julie Spidell, recreation planner for the Salt Lake City Ranger District.