Search and rescue workers on Monday found a hiker and his dog who’d gotten lost on Utah’s Red Mountain Trail.
The hiker and his 80-pound dog were visiting from California, ABC4 News reported. The man had researched the Red Mountain Trail online, deputies said. He decided to hike it despite the fact that it is an extremely difficult 10-mile trail with no signs.
The five-hour rescue effort began at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, when the hiker called police for help, and ended early Monday. He had hiked from the trailhead near Dammeron Valley that morning to a ledge off the mountain. The hiker had followed a path of footprints that ultimately went over the ledge, and he got stuck there.
Deputies told ABC4 the rescue operation was a dangerous one. Rescuers had to hike down the face of the cliff in the dark wearing headlamps to reach the hiker and his dog.
At that perilous point, an unidentified person began shining a high-powered blue laser directly at them. Washington County Sheriff’s Sgt. Darrell Cashin said it could have blinded them. They called in local police to track down the guilty party, but the police couldn’t find them.
The search and rescue effort deployed a drone with a spotlight to help lead them to the hiker and his dog. When they finally found the man and his dog, the rescuers showed them the way back. The dog slowed down their return, often sitting down and barking at difficult spots.
The pair had returned to their family at the incident command by early Monday.