Regional discussion and conditions reports for the great state of Utah, from the alpine peaks to the desert slots. Please post partners requests and trip plans here or in the Utah Climbing Partners section.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — He's eluded authorities for more than five years, a mountain man who roams the wilderness of southern Utah, breaking into remote cabins in winter, living in luxury off hot food, alcohol and coffee before stealing provisions and vanishing into the woods.
Investigators have clawed for clues, scouring cabins for fingerprints that match no one and chasing reports of brief encounters only to come up short, always a step behind the mysterious recluse.
They've found abandoned camps, dozens of guns, high-end outdoor gear stolen from the homes and trash strewn around the forest floor.
But the man authorities say is armed and dangerous and responsible for more than two dozen burglaries has continued to outrun the law across a swath of mountains not far from Zion National Park. He's roamed across 1,000 square miles of rugged wilderness where snow can pile 10 feet deep in winter.
"He's anti-religious,...The coffee and alcohol the survivalist favors plays into some cabin owners' assessment that he could be a castaway from the nearby twin towns of Hildale or Colorado City on the Utah-Arizona border. The so-called lost boys are said to be regularly booted from the polygamous sect there by elders looking to increase their marriage opportunities with young women.
Unlike members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which discourages consumption of alcohol and coffee, many of the Mormon fundamentalists imbibe.
There are a lot of interesting stories about those folks (tv, magazines, books, etc.). Not long after the federal raid on Warren Jeffs, we stayed there for a couple of nights and went on a long hike there on Easter (http://www.summitpost.org/water-canyon/363266) . We happened to watch Religulous while there (it had coincidentally been in my rental queue around that time). We met a friendly, semi-loner who liked to ride his ATV up to the mouth of the canyon with his dog running behind. He was a perfect example of this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fumarase_deficiency
We saw folks like this frolicking in the water of the canyon and scurrying around on the canyon walls. We chatted with some of the adult men, including a relative visiting from CA who felt the need to apologize for how tradtional his kinfolk were.
They had ridden up in something like this with several carts in tow, like an atv train:
Anyway, the whole OP story reminds me somewhat of a video I posted in another thread today: