Yellowstone crews scale back search for Utah conservationist

October 15, 2021 GMT

OGDEN, Utah (AP) — The National Park Service has scaled back the search for Kim Crumbo, a conservationist from Utah who disappeared along with his brother during a Yellowstone backcountry trip in September.

The national park that covers parts of Wyoming, Idaho and Montana has gotten a blanket of snow and temperatures have dipped into the 20s, making search operations challenging, a spokesman told the Standard-Examiner in Ogden, Crumbo’s hometown.

His brother, 67-year-old Mark O’Neill of Chimacum, Washington, was found dead of hypothermia last month.

The men had been on a four-night backcountry trip to Shoshone Lake. A relative reported them overdue Sept. 19.

A vacant campsite was found on the lake’s south side. What happened remains under investigation, they said.


The men were experienced boaters and former National Park Service employees, and Crumbo is a former Navy SEAL who served in Vietnam. Crumbo also co-founded the conservation group Grand Canyon Wildlands Council, which later merged with another group to form Wild Arizona.

The park will continue limited search efforts for Crumbo as long as conditions allow, park service officials said in a statement.

Shoshone Lake covers 13 square miles (33 square kilometers) and has an average temperature of 48 degrees Fahrenheit (9 Celsius). People without insulating gear typically can survive only 20 to 30 minutes in such cold water, officials have said.