Search teams track down five teens hunkered down in cabin

IRON COUNTY — At about 4 a.m. Sunday morning, just before the worst of the snowstorm blew in, several search and rescue teams pulled five teens off Kolob Mountain who had been stranded there for most the night. The teens’ vehicle was stuck in a large snow drift and they were found holed up in a nearby cabin they had entered to stay warm.

A 19-year-old, two 14-year-olds and two 13-year-old boys were overdue Saturday afternoon from a hiking trip they had planned through a remote area, sparsely populated with cabins and crisscrossed with dirt roads. The boys had gone to Kolob Mountain, an expanse between the town of Virgin to the south and Cedar Mountain to the north.

The mother of one of the boys received a cell phone call from them at approximately 12:30 p.m. Saturday, the last time anyone heard from them. Meanwhile, the boys’ vehicle was stuck in a snowdrift nearly 5 miles up Kolob Road, on a rough dirt road with no cell service. When the boys didn’t return, their families, from the Hildale-Colorado City area, started a search at about 6:30 p.m., and later called in Search and Rescue as the sun went down and the temperatures started to drop.

The wind chill was extremely cold” Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy Darell Cashin said, “I’d step out of my vehicle and it was cutting right through me.”

With the wind chill, Cashin estimated the temperature was around zero degrees fahrenheit. “It was dang cold,” he said.

Iron County Sheriff’s SAR teams searched from the northern, Cedar City side, while Washington County Sheriff’s SAR teams searched from the southern, Kolob Reservoir side of Kolob Mountain. Both teams were hampered by muddy and snowy road conditions, Cashin said. Tracks from a vehicle were spotted by the south-side teams on Kolob road.

Rescuers followed the vehicle tracks north on Kolob Road. The road condition continued to worsen, as more and more snow drifts had accumulated, Cashin said.

“Then when there wasn’t snow,” Cashin said, “there was mud … trying to get anywhere up there was absolutely difficult.”

Several of their four-wheel drive vehicles got stuck, so a trailer and snowcat were used throughout the night to tow vehicles out.

We had a couple flat tires, one guy broke his transmission in half, it was just one of those nights,” Cashin said.

As the night progressed, the wind came in stronger and stronger making the rescue more difficult.

SAR teams pressed on and further up the road found evidence that a vehicle had been stuck in a snow drift about 4 miles from Kolob Reservoir, but had continued north through several more snow drifts.

Rescuers followed these tracks as fast as they could and finally found the boys’ vehicle abandoned at about 3:30 a.m. Upon inspection, rescuers found a note on the vehicle that said the boys went to a cabin.

SAR members followed the tracks and soon found all of the boys inside a privately owned cabin on the Iron County side of Kolob Mountain near the turnoff to Kanarraville Canyon. The cabin was approximately 5 or 6 miles north of Kolob reservoir, Cashin said.

The boys had entered the cabin to stay out of the elements and built a fire in the fireplace to stay warm. They were in good health and were brought back down the south side of the mountain to the incident command center.

Some of the boys’ family members, who were also searching, met the SAR team at the command center. After the boys were given drinks and fed, the family members took them home.

After the search and recovery, Cashin estimated that the boys’ vehicle had been stuck for 12-14 hours before SAR found them. After locating and returning them, it took approximately three hours for all the search and rescue teams to get off the mountain and get everything cleaned up.

It was a successful, collaborative effort,” Cashin said, “luckily we got out of there before the snow hit and everybody was safe.”

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Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

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  • Bender March 31, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    Hulled up? Was it a nautically themed cabin?

  • Mud March 31, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    And now tax payers have to foot the bill to pay for all the volunteers vehicle and tires to be fixed.

    • Bub March 31, 2014 at 7:09 pm

      “had a couple flat tires, one guy broke his transmission in half, it was just one of those nights”

      Is search and rescue made up of idiots? How does one break a transmission in half? If it was his own personal vehicle do you think he’d manage to do that to it. And yes, the parents of these brats should be sent a bill.

      • FACT March 31, 2014 at 8:58 pm

        In fact, it is his personal vehicle. The SAR volunteers in this county supply all of their own equipment and vehicles.

        Facts.. I know, they are pesky little things.. hardly worth taking the time to get them correct…

        • Bub April 1, 2014 at 2:38 pm

          Whoever paid for it… doesn’t excuse idiocy. Seems like more than just SAR was involved here, no?

  • Bub March 31, 2014 at 5:55 pm


  • Pravda March 31, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    The SAR Team is awesome & we’re very lucky to have them, especially since we have a lot of FOOLISH people that live around here…

  • Wazz March 31, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    Nope..They were nuts.

  • FACT March 31, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    Its amazing how much people think they know that just is not so.

    Almost all of the costs of Searches gets reimbursed through the Utah SAR Fund.. funded by fees from ATV Registrations….

    Those SAR volunteers save this county, and all counties in Utah, hundreds of thousands of dollars every year!!! And you are going to complain about a couple of hundred dollars of repairs that are not even paid for by your tax dollars?

    If things are so awful you have to put negative comments on every story… Maybe you need to quit complaining.. and get out there and start doing…

  • Commander March 31, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    To address Mud and Bub. First off, it is apparent you have no clue how much the SAR volunteers save Washington County just in man hours. Secondly SAR volunteers supply tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment to the committment of providing SAR. I am the commander of the SAR and I am very proud of our team! Good luck in your future endeavors! We will be glad to serve you or a family member when the need arises! All free of charge! Thanks for your support Casey

  • Lacie April 1, 2014 at 6:36 am

    So much complaining! What happened to just being happy the kids are safe!!??
    Story isn’t intense enough for you? Nobody was hurt? So you have to find/make up something to COMPLAIN about?!
    Just be happy it turned out good 🙂

  • KanabCowgirl April 1, 2014 at 7:13 am

    This same scenario happened to my cousin’s family shortly after their 1st child was born. It was good weather, good roads when they set out. They didn’t think to tell anyone where they were going exactly. We had a general area though. Sudden huge snowstorm blew in. White out conditions. It was several days before they were found. Luckily the father was smart and found cabin or something and kept his family safe. Later after they were safe at home he went back and fixed the damage that was done so he could get his family out of the weather.

  • DoubleTap April 1, 2014 at 8:38 am

    Hey you all…..BUB is never, never has been and never will be a happy camper. It is in his nature to make certain that all of his post are negative. It’s what he lives for. His day is not complete if he can’t post the negative. I think his middle name is negative. Don’t feed the negative one….just consider the source. As unhappy as it may be.

    • Bub April 1, 2014 at 2:37 pm

      Hey if I posted all fluffy bunnies and pink unicorns the entertainment value would go right down the crapper… 😀

      If people’s delicate little minds cant handle some critique, I suggest they cover their eyes and use the scroll bar 🙂 ))))))))))))))

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