Utah woman, 31, freezes to death while hiking in Zion National Park after desperate husband ran for help

The couple spent the night camping in the park before temperatures dropped drastically to freezing with the woman showing signs of hypothermia

Utah woman, 31, freezes to death while hiking in Zion National Park after desperate husband ran for help
Representational image (Getty Images)
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ZION NATIONAL PARK, UTAH: A woman tragically died on Wednesday, November 23, after succumbing to the freezing temperature while hiking in a US national park with her husband. The 31-year-old hiker and husband, 33, started their trail in Utah's Zion National Park on Tuesday, November 22, unware of what was coming next.

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The couple spent the night camping in the park before freezing temperatures set in. The woman began to show signs of hypothermia. The man said the weather turned “dangerously cold overnight,” according to the National Park Service. The pair then decided to walk through a permitted 16-mile top-down route through the Narrows. The husband saw his wife was in too much pain and decided to split up so he could get help. 

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While the husband, who was also severely injured, moved ahead, the wife stayed at the campsite, about a mile-and-a-half from the north end of Riverside Walk, a paved trail that leads from the Temple of Sinawava to the Narrows. The desperate husband eventually found the park rangers on the path and alerted them about his wife’s condition. The Zion park team members took him to the medical center while another team went to the campsite to rescue his wife.

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Before their arrival, other hikers, who found the wife in an unconscious state, gave her CPR and tried to keep her alive. But nothing worked and the woman died even before medical help arrived. The identity of the couple have not yet been revealed. However, along with the park service, the Washington County Sheriff's Office and the Utah Office of the Medical Examiner are also investigating the woman's death.

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The death of a hiker was reported on the same day that rescuers in New Hampshire found the body of a teenage girl who froze to death after getting lost on a hike. The deceased body of 19-year-old Emily Sotelo was found on Wednesday in Franconia Notch State Park, New Hampshire, after a grueling four-day search. After going hiking alone on Sunday morning, November 20, she disappeared, with police believing she died from exposure.

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Friends have paid tribute to the 19-year-old, who was on a mission to climb every one of New Hampshire's 48 peaks before her 20th birthday. "She made all three peaks she wanted to and unfortunately on the descent, she missed the turn which is hard to find on a windy day or just in general. This has happened before at the same exact area she got off the trail back in 2021. Luckily those guys made it out by thawing out their cell phone under their armpit and SAR found them before they froze," her friend and fellow hiker Brian Garvey said. "She was sweet and so happy to be out in the woods. She was young and ready to take on anything," Jessie Callaghan, who met her on a previous hike, said on Facebook.

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