Rescuers have recovered the body of missing hiker Tatum Morell.
Tatum was discovered by climbers on Saturday, August 21 well below the Whitetail couloir. Two Bear Air and the Yellowstone County Sheriff helicopter worked together with Red Lodge Fire Rescue and the Carbon County Sheriff’s office to recover her body from the rugged mountains. The recovery teams were met by her family and Red Lodge Fire Rescue personnel at the Red Lodge Airport.
Rescuers believe that Tatum was climbing Whitetail Peak when she was caught in a significant rock slide and suffered fatal injuries. The area where she was located had been searched numerous times by rescue crews. However, due to the fact that Tatum was mostly buried under rocks, she was extremely difficult to find.
“After almost two months of extensive search efforts, we are relieved that she is able to be returned to her family,” said Assistant Chief Jon Trapp with Red Lodge Fire Rescue. “The effort volunteers put into finding Tatum surpassed anything I’ve seen in my 17 years with Search and Rescue operations; it was absolutely incredible.”
Tatum Morell was an avid and experienced hiker who planned to climb five mountain peaks over 12000’ in the West Fork of Rock Creek near Red Lodge Montana. She backpacked into the area, camped at Shadow Lake on Thursday, July 1st, and contacted her family via an InReach satellite communicator that evening. This was her last communication with her family. It is believed that she left her tent on July 2nd and didn’t return.
Red Lodge Fire Rescue, the Carbon County Sheriff and the family of Tatum Morrel want to thank all the agencies and volunteers that assisted in the incredible search efforts.