BOULDER CITY, Nev. — A Boy Scout group that took a hike in a Colorado River canyon over the weekend had tried to beat the heat by starting early, but they were no match for temperatures that soared to 115 degrees.
Scout leader and Las Vegas resident Clawson Bowman Jr., 69, was found dead Saturday afternoon about a mile from the trailhead, according to officials with the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Four other Scouts and another adult had to be rescued.
"It's just a tragic day for our scouting family and the church family that this group came from," said Shane Calendine, Scout executive with the Boy Scouts of America, Las Vegas Area Council. He told the Las Vegas Review-Journal the troop was affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The group of nine people — including seven hikers between the ages of 10 and 17, and two adults — arrived at their destination at Arizona Hot Springs about 9 a.m.
Temperatures soared to triple digits before 10 a.m.
Trouble struck as the group split up and became disoriented while heading back. Rangers said a 39-year-old man who went to look for Bowman's group started to suffer from heat stroke.
Four Scouts eventually reached a site about four miles from Hoover Dam that had better cellphone reception. They called for help and maintained contact with officials until they were found by Las Vegas air rescuers about 5 p.m.
"Fortunately, the young men (who) were there stayed calm and kept in communication with rescue," Calendine said.
Bowman was located about 3:30 p.m. and pronounced dead on the scene. The 39-year-old man was found soon after and treated until he could be flown from the scene.
Bowman worked at a firm that consults with pharmaceutical companies, according to the Review-Journal. He had a bachelor's degree from BYU and a law degree from Western State University, the newspaper reported.
The canyon area, located on the border of Nevada and Arizona, is so notorious for heat that signs warn about the dangers to hikers. Park officials say they don't recommend hiking in the record temperatures seen over the weekend.
"Weather and conditions are something that all of the groups should consider when they go out on any activity," Calendine said.