Found Alive UT - Holly Suzanne Courtier, 38, Zion National Park, 6 Oct 2020

Discussion in 'Located Persons Discussion' started by doublestop, Oct 10, 2020.

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  1. 10ofRods

    10ofRods Verified Anthropologist

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    I agree - in the CCTV photo she doesn't appear to have a big pack. And Osprey packs come in all sizes. People like Osprey due to the varied sizing, which enables women to get much better fitted packs.

    I will say this, though. There's something that concerns me about the fact that Holly had just been to Zion (with her daughter? that's what the captioned picture says) and then came back right away. It's not a quick trip. It's as if she...got a little obsessed with getting back to Zion? Felt "close to God" there?
     


  2. 10ofRods

    10ofRods Verified Anthropologist

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    Instantly? No. But it could be pretty immediate upon onset of symptoms. You'd be walking all la-di-da and then be overcome with terrible cramps (in the case of giardia) so that you would find it hard to walk (Source: friend who got giardia, very able person at the time).

    With the neurotoxins of the algae, it could be a more insiduous but if in the wilderness alone, no one would know whether you were in instant distress - or whether it took an hour.

    ______
    P.S. Can anyone help me figure out where this thread is housed? I can find it because I'm posting on it, but I'm not seeing anyone's posts show up on the front page of the Missing Persons discussion, and now there's another missing UT woman - I'd really like for this thread to get some attention.
     
  3. K9Enzo

    K9Enzo Well-Known Member

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    (respectfully snipped)

    Yes, I read that article today where her daughter said that. It was a quick turnaround to return. Seems like something was pulling her back. I’m still worried about her state of mind, losing a job, not telling anyone her plans, other than she’s going to convert her van to travel, then leave her cell at home, in another state. Perhaps she got off that shuttle and just hiked & hiked without a target destination. Whatever happened, today, 17 October, I sadly no longer think she’s alive. IMO
     
  4. MntnHiker

    MntnHiker Well-Known Member

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    Yeah someone upthread mentioned people taking hammocks to kind of "hang out in" for awhile. I have seen people do this in other national parks as well, and typically they were fairly far down a trail as to be away from other people, so it isn't unusual to carry one in a little distance. Perhaps she planned a short hike and then some time relaxing in a hammock? Unsure, but very concerned about where she is.

    My gut is still saying death by misadventure/falling off a cliff, etc. I of course hope she has gone missing on purpose and is healthy and alive somewhere, but I just don't feel it. MOO
     
  5. K9Enzo

    K9Enzo Well-Known Member

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    IMO, looking at some pics of her on social media and I believe her daughter described her as spiritual- perhaps she stepped the off trail seek a beautiful & private spot to mediate and got turned around or severely injured herself.
     
  6. LadyL

    LadyL Well-Known Member

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    dbm
    already posted
     
  7. LadyL

    LadyL Well-Known Member

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    [sbm]

    I found it in Missing Person's Discussion
     
  8. LadyL

    LadyL Well-Known Member

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    and ppl seem to put a lot of trust in those chain railings
    I can't imagine hiking something like that at all, much less alone
     
  9. Pyrite

    Pyrite Well-Known Member

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    The really scary part is the two way traffic on the same side of the chain. The uphill side (At least on the first two sets of chains) is unusable, so everyone is on the downhill side. Occasionally you have to find a flat spot to stand and let go of the chain so people going the other direction can pass.

    I’ve tried 3 times and never made it to the top. Going up Angeles Landing taught me I did have a fear of heights, but Each time I get further, so maybe next time will be the charm.

    Every time I’ve went to Zion, there are so many people going to Angels landing, it’s hard to image anyone falling and not being seen But get on some of the less popular trails and it could easily happen. Most of Zion you going uphill or downhill and the drops are very steep.
     
  10. K9Enzo

    K9Enzo Well-Known Member

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  11. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

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    With an overnight pack, no less....
    And with a big pack like that on a small woman, very probably top heavy.
    And, with that particular design of pack, the weight is way far from the body core. It's tippy even on the flat; it makes women jerk with every step.

    On the other hand, someone would remember if she was up there kitted out like that, 'cos they would have been royally freaked out at having to make way along those chains.
     
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  12. K9Enzo

    K9Enzo Well-Known Member

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  13. swedeheart

    swedeheart Well-Known Member

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    I've asked before, but since so many of y'all have been there, do you think she would've been found already if she had fallen? Would there be buzzards flying around the area below (sorry) and/or a fairly obvious slip mark on the ground? Would you slide down or just fall completely over if you fell?
     
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  14. K9Enzo

    K9Enzo Well-Known Member

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    I have not been there but don’t think falls are always big dramatic events all the time. They can be abrupt and over quickly. Sometimes your gear lands right with you, not scattered all over. Deceased people have been overlooked in searches, sometimes even a second time searching the same area, especially in deep foliage (don’t think that’s the case here). For me, I very seldom ever say the person should have been found.

    I’m not sure of the vulture/buzzards common in that area. Contrary to popular belief, not all birds will feel comfortable enough to swoop down and start taking human remains, if this was not a standard recognized food source such as a deer or other animal native to the area decaying on the ground. The appearance spooks them, it’s out of place. However in some cases overhead bird circling activity can be a sign. IMO
     
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  15. PayrollNerd

    PayrollNerd Well-Known Member

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    I’ve been there and the terrain is so diverse. You could fall off a ledge, slide down a slippery rock, trip along the waters edge, fall off a bridge, walk right off the path in the dark, or whatever. Pretty much any scenario in most any park. It is possible for buzzards to circle but I’d be more inclined to think small animal behavior would increase first. More paw prints in an area where you wouldn’t normally see a lot.

    I hiked a lot years ago and it was the same way. You could tumble down the side of a mountain trail and be lost in the brush. You can walk away from the path for a potty break and get turned around. (Take chalk with you and mark the trees so you can find your way back to the trail/path.)
     
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  16. Vacajoe

    Vacajoe Well-Known Member

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    Just there a week before HC. A fall from the Angels’ Landing Trail would have been seen and heard from multiple people given that that trail is very busy at that time. Additionally, most of it is cliff side and viewable from the valley floor, so even those NOT on the trail would likely witness a fall. The trail from the Grotto to Emerald Pools is less-traveled with more secluded areas, but also presents less likelihood of falling off a cliff. If she headed west on the West Rim Trail, though, there are far less hikers and plenty of remote spots to get lost and get hurt.

    “Slip marks” could be possible, but totally dependent upon the terrain which varies considerably throughout the area from rock to sandstone to different types of vegetation.

    Turkey vultures are present there and would likely be attracted to the smell of decay, but I’m in agreement with Swedeheart that they may avoid actually interacting with a human body. Still, you’d see them circling (I did S&R as part of my previous career) and could use that to pinpoint remains.
     
  17. MntnHiker

    MntnHiker Well-Known Member

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    I don't personally see how a fall from Angels could be missed in the middle of the afternoon. That trail would be packed. However, like others have said, she could have gone on a different trail and fallen. Like I said before, the most falls had actually occurred not on Angels but on one of the Emerald Pools trails and now there is a chain barrier at that point. I witnessed it. Even a fall from a lower cliff edge could be fatal. Or it's possible she decided to scrap the 4:40 shuttle pick-up and hiked Angels later in the evening when maybe it wasn't so busy and a fall wouldn't have been noticed possibly. MOO
     
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  18. MntnHiker

    MntnHiker Well-Known Member

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    I am also having a hard time imagining her starting Angels with the intent to be back at the shuttle pick-up by 4:40. For many people, this is longer than a 3 hour hike. Even if she thought herself a fast hiker, you also can't possibly know how crowded it will be, how long you may have to wait on the chains for others to pass, etc. That would be cutting it VERY close to missing her return shuttle. Unless in her mind she decided, screw it! I'd rather hike this trail and just miss the shuttle once she got going. I would almost lean toward her hiking a different trail with that short of a time frame, but that's just MOO.
     
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  19. 10ofRods

    10ofRods Verified Anthropologist

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    And why would a person take a hammock with them, if they intended to go up Angel's?

    I think some of the trails they've been searching are more likely (there are trees and bodies of water).
     
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  20. happyday

    happyday Well-Known Member

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    It’s good to know they’re searching through the weekend, but disheartening that they haven’t found her yet.

    I agree that she must have gone on one of the other trails other than Angel’s Landing b/c of the items she had with her and that there are usually people on that trail.

    I’ve been stumped by the large pack, blanket, yoga mat & hammock if this was just an intended short hike. But it could be as simple as she just wanted to test out her new gear OR she really was going to camp & just didn’t think it was a big deal to not return to the shuttle. I personally think it’s more likely she was planning to return and got lost &/or hurt.

    It’s sad she hasn’t been found yet, but I keep thinking of the woman in Hawaii who was hurt/lost for weeks but was finally found alive.
     
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