By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Search and rescue teams from both Wyoming and Montana were searching southern Montana on Tuesday for a woman who disappeared while hiking in the Beartooth Mountain area last week.
Tatum Morell, 23, planned to hike five peaks in the mountains last week. She camped at Shadow Lake in Montana on July 1 and contacted her mother via a satellite communicator that evening.
It is believed she left her tent on Friday. She has not been seen since, according to Red Lodge Fire Rescue officials.
Currently, Montana’s Red Lodge Fire Rescue, Carbon County Sheriff’s Office, Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office, Gallatin County and Big Horn County search and rescue and rescue teams are looking for the young woman, assisted by the Park County, Wyoming, search and rescue team, the U.S. Forest Service, three dog teams and three helicopters.
On Wednesday, ground teams planned to search the routes Morrell may have taken to climb the peaks in the area, with a focus on Sundance, Bowback, Castle and Whitetail mountains. These routes are high elevation and relatively difficult, with car-sized boulders and snowfall being possible elements in the way.
The dog teams will search around Morrell’s camp.
Helicopter crews from the National Guard and Two Bear Air searched the area Sunday night though Tuesday evening, while ground crews searched the area around her camp and the surrounding lakes.
Morrell is an engineering graduate student at Montana State University-Bozeman and is originally from Idaho. This was her first trip to the Beartooths, according to Red Lodge Fire Rescue officials.
She is an experienced hiker who recently completed a similar trip in Gallatin County, climbing five peaks in five days.
Anyone with information on Morrell’s disappearance can call 406-446-1234, the Carbon County, Montana Sheriff’s Office.
Morrell is not the only hiker to go missing in the region recently. Last month, an Irish man went missing in Grand Teton National Park and still hasn’t been found.