A hike in a remote area of Grand Canyon National Park claimed the life of a Bountiful teen after his varsity Scout group reportedly ran out of water.
David Phillips, 15, died from heat exhaustion Wednesday while hiking on a stock trail snaking down into Nankoweap - a rough wilderness area on the north ridge of the canyon, according to park spokeswoman Maureen Oltrogge.The group of four adults and six youths from the North Canyon LDS 3rd Ward in Bountiful embarked last Monday on a scheduled six-day hike through the Grand Canyon.
At some point, the party ran out of water Wednesday while trying to reach the Colorado River, said Oltrogge. Temperatures reached 112 degrees in the area that day.
Some of the other hikers reached the river Wednesday evening and flagged down a commercial river guide equipped with a land-to-air radio and reported trouble. The guide radioed a commercial airplane flying overhead, which then notified Los Angeles International Airport about Phillips' condition, said Oltrogge.
The airport contacted Park Service officials, who flew into the area at first light on Thursday where Phillips was found dead, said Oltrogge.
The survivors were flown to a medical center on the canyon's south end. All were in good condition Friday, according to North Canyon 3rd Ward Bishop Robert H. Campbell.
The group apparently did not have a valid pass to hike in the area, which is not maintained by the Park Service.
"The group did have a backcountry pass, but it was issued for June 10th," said Oltrogge.
One outdoor manual describes the area the party was in as a seldom explored region recommended only for "experienced hikers with excellent wilderness and survival skills."
It is unknown whether the outing was approved by the Great Salt Lake Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Scout officials were not available for comment Friday.
Included in the group was an adult acquaintance of one of the ward members who was familiar with the Grand Canyon area, said Campbell.
The group is expected to return to Bountiful on Saturday.
Ward members call Phillips a "good kid" who loved the outdoors and excelled in Scouting and diving.
Phillips, who just finished his sophomore year at Woods Cross High School, placed third at the 4-A State diving tournament, according to neighbor Guy Evans.
Cameron Evans, a junior at Woods Cross High School and swim teammate of Phillips, said he was active in the LDS seminary program and a lot of fun to be around. He also said it was exciting to watch Phillips dive.