Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Search and Rescue finds hikers

Express Staff Writer

After becoming disoriented by a snowstorm, two hikers from Pocatello were saved by Blaine County Search and Rescue on the night of Wednesday, Nov. 11.

Blaine County Sheriff's Office Lt. Jay Davis said Jarek Sweigert, 31, and Marty Cooke, 38, had been hiking in Kelly Gulch in the early afternoon when the onset of snow split the pair apart and hampered their efforts to return to their vehicle. The hikers reported that they got separated just before 2 p.m.

Kelly Gulch is about seven miles west of downtown Hailey, north off Croy Creek Road.

Davis said that either a relative or a friend called Blaine County emergency dispatch about 5:45 p.m., and Search and Rescue was sent into the Croy area about 6:15 p.m.

Sweigert was found first, about 9:30 p.m., over two ridges to the east in Red Elephant Canyon. Cook was found at about 10 p.m. farther north in Deer Creek. Davis said while neither was injured, both were tired from hiking in the snow for most of the day.

"Darkness and weather are the two things that will turn you around out there," Davis said.

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